Prison authorities in the United States have failed to protect inmates against sexual violence, says the United Nations Committee Against Torture. The Associated Press reports that the U.N. unit criticized slowness in investigating claims of sexual assault in prisons in the U.S. and said “appropriate measures to combat these abuses have not been implemented.” It noted that people of “differing sexual orientation” were particularly vulnerable.
The 2003 U.S. Prison Rape Elimination Act was designed to combat sexual violence in prisons by requiring states to draft prevention, education and monitoring plans. The statute said that at least 13 percent of the inmates in the United States have been sexually assaulted in prison. The U.S., like the 140 other nations that have signed the Convention Against Torture, submits reports to the U.N. committee to show it is applying the rules.