International human rights standards are increasingly understood to require special and improved care for women prisoners with children. Pregnant women, women in the post-partum phase of childbirth, and crucially, newborns, require access to intensive and routine medical services and highest attainable prison standards.
Imprisoned women with children face distinct challenges that other prisoners may not experience while they serve their sentences.
In international human rights terms, rights of women with children fall under three categories and are protected by instruments of international law which enumerate the rights of prisoners, women, and mothers. In the Turkish Republic, governed by President Recep T. Erdogan and Justice and Development Party (AKP), the treatment of women prisoners and their children has deteriorated since 2016, the year during which Turkey experienced a general shift towards authoritarianism.
At the time of this publication, the first quarter of 2020, the Turkish government’s treatment of women prisoners and their children falls radically short of standards detailed by landmark instruments put forth by the United Nations and adopted by the international community.
Developments pertaining to the rights of women and children signal the continued deterioration of these rights under the current government without legitimate efforts to improve conditions by Turkish authorities.Captive-Mothers-and-Babies