Persons with disabilities are frequently overrepresented in detention settings around the world. We offer our expertise to detention monitors, to help protect the rights of these persons.

When detained, persons with disabilities are extremely vulnerable to abuse, including ill-treatment and even torture. This group, which cannot be considered homogenous, includes persons with mental health problems or illnesses, learning or intellectual disabilities and physical disabilities.

All persons with disabilities in detention face higher risks of discrimination and victimisation that can lead to abuse, ill-treatment and violence, including rape, from staff and from other detainees. Detention settings, such as prisons, can exacerbate poor health conditions and reinforce pre-existing disabilities.

Persons with mental disabilities in detention should not be detained in prisons in the first place. They face particular risks, such as restraints being used disproportionately and being overmedicated as a form of ‘chemical restraint’. While persons with physical disabilities in detention face risks including discrimination, limited access to services, education and ill-treatment and abuse.

What we do

We provide guidance on monitoring of places of detention to monitoring bodies operating under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on Torture through trainings, our online publications and our Detention Focus Database.