Key stakeholder's views on conjugal rights in Malawi

Published: 1 October 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/jkfwgdgk76.1
Samson Kajawo


Malawi does not yet have any law allowing prison inmates enjoy conjugal visits. In 2014, the Malawi Government established a special law commission to review the Malawi Prisons Act with the aim of aligning it with the dictates of the constitution and applicable international law and principles on the administration, governance and management of prisons and prisoners (Kitta, 2015). Amongst the issues that sparked hot debate in the consultative meetings for this law review was the possibility of including conjugal visitation rights in the new Prisons Act (Nzangaya, 2016; Magombo, 2016; Phiri, 2016). Some stakeholders embraced the idea since it has the potential of assisting in the rehabilitation and community reintegration of prison inmates, while the majority seriously opposed the possibility of including conjugal rights of prisoners in the prisons act (Magombo, 2016). However, the most important stakeholders’ groups, the prisoners and their spouses, were not consulted, hence their views are not documented anywhere. This study intended to bridge that gap. The study gathered data from the perceptions of male and female prison inmates on conjugal visitation rights at one of the maximum (central) prisons in Malawi to broadening the understanding of conjugal rights issues using a different approach. The key finding was that the majority of inmates had positive perceptions regarding the idea of inmates having access to conjugal visits while serving their sentences, even though the chances were very low for its introduction in the country. References Kitta, T. (2015, June 18). Malawi Law Commissions, stakeholders review the Prison Act. Malawi News Agency (MANA) Online. Nzangaya, A. (2016, May 24). Activists want inmates to have sex in prisons. Malawi 24. Phiri, S. (2016, July 16). CHREAA supports conjugal rights for prisoners. MBC. Magombo, K. (2016, October 21). Sex on sentence in Malawi prisons non-starter – Law Commission. Nyasa Times.



Rehabilitation, Human Rights, Prisoner