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Mainstreaming gender sensitive approaches in the criminal justice system is crucial for many good reasons. While prison populations worldwide have significantly increased, women are the fastest growing demographic. A large proportion of incarcerated women are for minor and non-violent offences. Despite this continuing growth in population, providing specific healthcare and hygiene needs to women offenders pose significant challenge for prison administrations. Many women are the primary caregivers and some have other caring responsibilities. Thus, to incarcerate women, which can also impacts their dependent children and family, becomes an important policy question that requires careful consideration.


The Office of the Bangkok Rules and Treatment of Offenders (OBR) aims to promote effective and gender-sensitive criminal justice, and rights-based treatment of offenders that are in line with international standards and norms. These include, but not limited to, the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules) and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules). Also, we work to promote the use of non-custodial measures and support the reintegration of offenders in order to reduce prison overcrowding and ensure inclusive society.


Three main activities of the OBR include research, capacity-building, and policy advocacy. Most of our research and capacity building activities aimed at increasing understanding about the offences committed by women, the characteristics of women offenders, their pathways to prison and the impact of imprisonment on women and their family. In addition, we work with government agencies, international organizations and NGOs in Thailand, ASEAN region and internationally in order to put international standards and norms related to the treatment of offenders into practice.


Flagship activities:

  • Annual Training Programme on the Management of Women Prisoners for Senior Correctional Staff in the ASEAN Region
  • The Model Prison on the Implementation of the UN Bangkok Rules (in collaboration with the Department of Corrections of Thailand)

Key partners:

  • Department of Corrections of Thailand and other ASEAN countries
  • Penal Reform International
  • Griffith University