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NHRCK Calls for Privacy Measures in Detention Center Toilets
Date : 2024.03.26 13:50:58 Hits : 250

NHRCK Calls for Privacy Measures in Detention Center Toilets


The National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) has issued recommendations urging action to protect the privacy of detainees in suppression cells. The recommendations, issued on February 23, 2024, target both the Minister of Justice and the warden of a specific detention facility (name withheld).

 

The case stems from a complaint filed by detainees at a detention center who were held in suppression cells. These detainees alleged a deep violation of their privacy due to the lack of privacy partitions or screens in the cell toilets. The absence of barriers meant their bodies, particularly their genitals and buttocks, were exposed to the existing CCTV surveillance system while using the toilet. This exposure, according to the detainees, resulted in a humiliating loss of dignity and privacy.

 

The detention center, while acknowledging the lack of privacy partitions, defended its actions by citing current facility standards. These standards, they argued, did not mandate the installation of privacy features for toilets. The center also maintained that technical adjustments had been made to the CCTV system to prevent the capture of detainees' private areas during toilet use.

 

The NHRCK expressed dissatisfaction with the response. They highlighted a similar past case where they had previously recommended the implementation of temporary privacy measures and facility upgrades to address CCTV exposure of private areas in suppression cell toilets. The NHRCK determined that these prior recommendations had not been fully implemented.

 

Furthermore, the NHRCK emphasized that the detainees' feelings of humiliation were justified. Even with the technical adjustments made to the CCTV system, the lack of communication regarding these changes left detainees feeling vulnerable and unsure of their privacy while using the toilet facilities.

 

In light of these concerns, the NHRCK reiterated its recommendations. They urged the Minister of Justice to revise the "Detailed Facility Standards for Protective-Suppression Cells" to mandate the installation of privacy features that shield detainees from view while using the toilet. As an interim measure, the NHRCK called for the adoption of temporary privacy screens in all national correctional facilities.

 

Additionally, the NHRCK recommended that the specific detention center addressed in the complaint install temporary privacy screens for toilets in their suppression cells to ensure the immediate protection of detainee privacy rights.

 

By implementing these recommendations, the NHRCK aims to strike a balance between security needs and the fundamental right to privacy for those held in detention facilities.

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