BANGKOK – Thai judges have finally agreed to implement the United Nations’ rules on the treatment of female convicts, after years of pressure by international organizations.
according to Appeals Court President Metha Thampanichawat, “most judges” in the country have agreed to take into account the circumstances of female convicts when sentencing them. He cited and endorsed a case in which a female convict was spared a prison sentence because she had a 3-month-old child who needed her care.
Pressure has been put on the Thai judiciary and the Corrections Department for years to implement the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders, also known as the “Bangkok Rules”.
But judges only agreed to implement it after HRH Princess Bajra Kitiyabha called for implementation.
Thailand ranks among the world’s top five for the highest ratio of female inmates per prison population, according to data by the International Centre for Prison Studies and the UN’s Human Development Reports.