‘Archaic, humiliating’ strip searches in Australia must end

The Human Rights Law Centre has delivered a statement at the 38th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, calling on the Australian government to improve laws around strip-searching and better uphold women’s rights.
Human Rights Law Centre director of legal advocacy Ruth Barson said that routine strip searches are “archaic and humiliating”, but they remain an everyday practice for thousands of women behind bars in Australia.
HRLC made its case to the UN Human Rights Council, in a statement delivered by one of its lawyers, Lee Jia-Yi Carni.
“There are far more humane and effective alternatives to strip searches such as modern non-invasive search techniques [such as
pat-downs, scanners and x-rays], which have been successfully adopted in other states, such as the United Kingdom,” Ms Carni told the council.
“Australian governments could, and should, end this degrading and dehumanising practice today.”
Australia was recently re-elected as a member of the Human Rights Council for a second term, on the back of a promise to uphold women’s and indigenous people’s rights.

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