Philippines: Advancing Access to Justice and Ensuring Human Rights Compliance for Women Deprived of Liberty

In a briefing paper released today, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) examines policy gaps and potential legal reforms designed to address human rights violations and abuses faced by women deprived of liberty (WDL) in the Philippine criminal justice system. This paper sheds light on the unique circumstances and experiences of these women, offering targeted and actionable recommendations to contribute to a fairer and more equitable criminal justice system.

The recommendations outlined in this paper focus on three key areas of concern:

  • Discriminatory penal laws that lead to the unjust incarceration of women;
  • Limited access to non-custodial alternatives to pre-trial detention; and
  • Non-compliance with international human rights standards governing prisoner treatment, along with a lack of gender responsiveness within the criminal justice and correction system.

In addition to recommending improvements in conditions within prison and detention facilities, this briefing paper aims to reduce the overall number of WDL by proposing the repeal of discriminatory laws and advocating for enhanced access to non-custodial alternatives for pre-trial detention.

*This briefing paper was initially published on 5 March 2023, and updated on 5 September 2023.

Contact :

Caleen Chanyungco Obias, National Legal Consultant – Philippines, email:

To download the briefing paper, click here

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