Author: Brown, Susan Judith
At the intersection of their age and gender, girls' rights are often an oversight in human rights discourse. Girls, whose lives are characterized by violence, multiple oppressions and over-policing are especially vulnerable to human rights violations due to the gendered/raced/classed nature of the criminal justice system. Using semi-structured qualitative interviews with 20 girls in British Columbia, this research documents girls’ experiences in police jail cells. Findings suggest girls’ face a number of threats to their safety, dignity and equality while in police custody that constitute violations of international standards for children held in detention. These include pre-trial detention for “social welfare” and punishment purposes; denial of basic necessities, clothing and medical attention; discriminatory routine practices, such as strip-searching and camera surveillance; harassment; psychological and physical violence. These are discussed with reference to international human rights and existing research to situate their experiences within a broader analysis of girls’ rights and equality.
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Thesis advisor: MacAlister, David
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