The sanitary installations shall be adequate to enable every prisoner to comply with the needs of nature when necessary and in a clean and decent manner.
Sanitary facilities and personal hygiene
Adequate bathing and shower installations shall be provided so that every prisoner can, and may be required to, have a bath or shower, at a temperature suitable to the climate, as frequently as necessary for general hygiene according to season and geographical region, but at least once a week in a temperate climate.
1. Prisoners shall be required to keep their persons clean, and to this end they shall be provided with water and with such toilet articles as are necessary for health and cleanliness.
2. In order that prisoners may maintain a good appearance compatible with their self-respect, facilities shall be provided for the proper care of the hair and beard, and men shall be able to shave regularly.
The physician or competent public health body shall regularly inspect and advise the prison director on:
(b) The hygiene and cleanliness of the institution and the prisoners;
(c) The sanitation, temperature, lighting and ventilation of the prison [...]
General living conditions addressed in these rules, including those related to light, ventilation, temperature, sanitation, nutrition, drinking water, access to open air and physical exercise, personal hygiene, health care and adequate personal space, shall apply to all prisoners without exception.
The accommodation of women prisoners shall have facilities and materials required to meet women's specific hygiene needs, including sanitary towels provided free of charge and a regular supply of water to be made available for the personal care of children and women, in particular women involved in cooking and those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating.
Sanitary installations should be so located and of a sufficient standard to enable every juvenile to comply, as required, with their physical needs in privacy and in a clean and decent manner.
Rules 12 and 13 of the Standard Minimum Rules stipulate that detention facilities should provide sufficient sanitary fixtures to allow for the personal hygiene of the detainee. Therefore, cells used for solitary confinement should contain a lavatory and wash-basin within the cell. In its 2006 report on Greece, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment observed that isolation cells in the Komotini Prison failed to meet the necessary minimum standard for sanitary fixtures because detainees were forced to use the toilet for a wash-basin as well. Other environmental factors, such as temperature, noise level, privacy, and soft materials for cell furnishings may also be implicated in the solitary confinement setting.
With regard to women, girls, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in detention, the Special Rapporteur calls on all States to:
[...] (l) Ensure adequate sanitation standards and provide for facilities and materials that meet women’s specific hygiene needs, such as sanitary towels at no cost, and clean water, including during transport; [...]
If detained, asylum-seekers are entitled to the following minimum conditions of detention:
(x) Basic necessities such as beds, climate-appropriate bedding, shower facilities, basic toiletries, and clean clothing, are to be provided to asylum-seekers in detention. They should have the right to wear their own clothes, and to enjoy privacy in showers and toilets, consistent with safe management of the facility.
Prisoners shall have ready access to sanitary facilities that are hygienic and respect privacy.
Adequate facilities shall be provided so that every prisoner may have a bath or shower, at a temperature suitable to the climate, if possible daily but at least twice a week (or more frequently if necessary) in the interest of general hygiene.
Prisoners shall keep their persons, clothing and sleeping accommodation clean and tidy.
The prison authorities shall provide them with the means for doing so including toiletries and general cleaning implements and materials.
Special provision shall be made for the sanitary needs of women.
Persons deprived of liberty shall have access to clean and sufficient sanitary installations that ensure their privacy and dignity. They shall also have access to basic personal hygiene products and water for bathing or shower, according to the climatic conditions.
Women and girls deprived of their liberty shall regularly be provided with those articles that are indispensable to the specific sanitary needs of their sex.
Ready access to proper toilet facilities and the maintenance of good standards of hygiene are essential components of a humane environment.
In this connection, the CPT must state that it does not like the practice found in certain countries of prisoners discharging human waste in buckets in their cells (which are subsequently "slopped out" at appointed times). Either a toilet facility should be located in cellular accommodation (preferably in a sanitary annex) or means should exist enabling prisoners who need to use a toilet facility to be released from their cells without undue delay at all times (including at night).
Further, prisoners should have adequate access to shower or bathing facilities. It is also desirable for running water to be available within cellular accommodation.
The CPT would add that, in certain establishments, it has observed a tendency to overlook the personal hygiene needs of female detainees, including juvenile girls. For this population in custody, ready access to sanitary and washing facilities as well as provision of hygiene items, such as sanitary towels, is of particular importance. The failure to provide such basic necessities can amount, in itself, to degrading treatment.
The specific hygiene needs of women should be addressed in an adequate manner. Ready access to sanitary and washing facilities, safe disposal arrangements for blood-stained articles, as well as provision of hygiene items, such as sanitary towels and tampons, are of particular importance. The failure to provide such basic necessities can amount, in itself, to degrading treatment.
Juveniles should have ready access to sanitary facilities that are
hygienic and respect privacy. In particular, attention should be paid to ensuring
that female juveniles are provided with ready access to sanitary and washing
facilities as well as to hygiene items, such as sanitary towels.
b. Safeguards for arrest and detention
If arrest, custody and pre-trial detention is absolutely necessary, women and girls shall:
v. Be provided with the facilities and materials required to meet their specific hygiene needs, and offered gender-specific health screening and care which accords with the rights to dignity and privacy, and the right to be seen by a female medical practitioner.
Gender-based violence infringes the right to life, personal safety and freedom of movement. Gender non-conforming people often feel that they need to sign away their freedom of expression since segregation by gender — including in public toilets, detention centres, relief camps and school — poses a risk of exclusion, humiliation and violence.
Standards in regulations and building codes should include special needs for women and girls, and must be developed for schools, hospitals, the workplace, market places, places of detention and public transport hubs and public institutions, among other places. Standards should consider general menstrual hygiene needs, but also who the users are likely to be. Standards must subsequently be implemented, put in practice and accordingly be enforced at all levels. Everyone should be able to use the toilet corresponding to the person’s gender identity and States must pay attention to the special needs of more vulnerable persons, including those with disabilities and the elderly.
The Special Rapporteur recommends that States: (i) Ensure the gender-responsive water, sanitation and hygiene facilities are available in schools, hospitals, the workplace, market places, places of detention and public spaces like public transport hubs and public institutions, among other places. Laws and regulations must be developed, promoted and enforced and must serve to hold Governments and non-State actors to account.
18.1. Facilities for sanitation and hygiene shall, as far as practicable, accommodate the cultural and religious preferences of foreign prisoners, while maintaining appropriate medical standards.
18.2. Rules that require prisoners to keep their appearance clean and tidy shall be interpreted in a manner that respects prisoners’ cultural and religious preferences, while maintaining appropriate medical standards.