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Right to health, thresholds of vulnerability and humane standards of detention in prisons and other detention settings.

Van Hout, M (2023) Right to health, thresholds of vulnerability and humane standards of detention in prisons and other detention settings. Doctoral thesis, LJMU.

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On any given day, over 11.5 million people globally are deprived of their liberty. Detention spaces are high risk environments for poor health, exposure to inter-personal violence and disease outbreaks. The Portfolio of Works concerns normative standards of detention and the varying degrees to which the health rights of people deprived of their liberty are upheld in different detention spaces (prisons, immigration, prisoner of war).
The 23 Works focus on right to health of people deprived of their liberty in African prisons; in European and South African immigration detention settings; and during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They were compiled in 2018-2023 and are underpinned by timespans before, during and beyond the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) global pandemic. To varying degrees, the health rights of these detainees were/are not sufficiently upheld despite the various international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law frameworks and the United Nations normative standards of detention.
Hence, there is a coherent theme of ‘right to health and humane standards of detention’ connecting the Works, cognisant of the myriad of distinct and intersectional vulnerabilities and equality rights of all detainees who are wholly reliant on the State to ‘respect, protect and fulfil’ their health (and basic human) rights. A holistic definition of health is adopted beyond the basic right to access free non-discriminatory healthcare equivalent to that available in the community; and encompasses broader dimensions of environmental health relating to humane treatment and accommodation standards.
A preamble to the chosen socio-legal approach is presented in this Introduction, followed by a human rights mapping exercise of the Works underpinned by the health in detention conceptual (and legal) framework of ‘respect, protect and fulfil.’ The mapping is cognisant of the equalising parameters of the ambitious Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 in order to identify areas for detention reform and various actions and solutions to ensure rule of law is upheld and ultimately advance human rights (including right to health) in detention spaces. Firstly it presents the argument to uphold right to health in its broadest sense by working towards improving environmental, occupational and infrastructural standards of detention beyond COVID-19 timeframes. Secondly it encourages State reconsideration and appreciation of the contextual, intersectional and evolving nature of vulnerability of those deprived of their liberty beyond age, gender, indigenous descent, minority group membership and extreme poverty and recommends to include concepts of health vulnerability cognisant of ill-health and risk to health in closed spaces.
The Portfolio as a whole illustrates how collectively and individually each Work advocates for policy, practice and legislative reforms to better respect, protect and fulfil the health rights of all deprived of their liberty globally, regionally and domestically.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Right to health; Prison; Detention
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Law
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 10:04
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2023 10:08
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00019763
Supervisors: Pentassuglia, G, Mariniello, T and Philips, T
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19763
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