On March 12, 2013, in collaboration with the ATI and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the SRT appeared as an independent expert in the first ever hearing on Solitary Confinement in the Americas during the 147th session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The SRT presented his findings from his study and experience in Solitary Confinement and highlighted the importance of addressing the practice in the region from the perspective of the prohibition of torture.
The IACHR endorsed the SRT’s recommendations, and on April 5, 2013 issued a press release and annex, urging Member States of the Organization of American States to comply with the recommendations, and to adopt concrete measures prohibiting the use of prolonged and indefinite solitary confinement, and the use of solitary confinement on juveniles and persons with mental disabilities.
- Read the SRT’s written submission to the IACHR prepared in collaboration with the ATI
- Watch a video of the hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Read the press release from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Compilation of News and Reactions to the Hearing
12 March 2013 – A compilation of all the submissions presented to the IACHR for the hearing on Solitary Confinement in the Americas is available on the ACLU website.
12 March 2013 – During the hearing, the ACLU called on the IACHR to investigate the practice of solitary confinement in the United States, highlighting the SRT’s testimony before the Commission.
14 March 2013 – The SRT’s call on the IACHR to investigate the practice on solitary confinement and its harmful effects through the Americans is discussed in the Antigua Observer. The article highlights the SRT’s concern that there is a lack of official information and statistics on the use of solitary confinement, and his remark that there are insufficient safeguard mechanisms in the region for preventing, detecting, and responding to the use of solitary confinement.
16 March 2013 – The Human Rights Brief discussed the SRT’s testimony on solitary confinement in the Americas before the IACHR.
5 April 2013 – In a briefing concluding its 147th Session, the Commission draws on the Special Rapporteur’s findings, urging member states to adopt concrete measures designed to eliminate and absolutely prohibit the use of prolonged or indefinite solitary confinement and its application to juveniles and persons with mental disabilities.