This coming Thursday (19th November 2020) at 1pm, a protest will be held outside of Silverwater Correctional Centre, Wayne Smith Drive to protest the use of strip-searching of women in prisons.
Strip searches are a serious breach of human rights and undermine Australia ratification of OPCAT. The recent ‘Inspection of Mary Wade Correctional Centre’ states that strip searches are carried out when inmates leave and return to the centre and are not limited to during contact and non-contact visits. The Correctional Centre only has to report when contraband is found during a strip search, so there is no accurate measurement of how many strip searches are undertaken because contraband is not commonly found.
The recent strip searches by Qatari authorities were described by MP Joel Fitzgibbon as “state-sanctioned sexual assault”. A question must be asked, why are strip searches acceptable by Australian authorities? The trauma and invasion of privacy must be addressed.
The event is being co-hosted by Justice Action, Nelly’s Healing Centre, Indigenous Social Justice Association, Macquarie University Women’s Collective, Sydney Socialist Alliance.