Search results for Ill-treatment

Related keywords Definition of CRSV Torture

Related word cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

I.1 Defining Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment under the CAT

Under article 1, 'torture' means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person, for such purposes as:

    Obtaining from them or a third person information or a confession; Punishing them for an act they or a third person have committed or are suspected of having committed; Intimidating or coerce them or a third person; For any reason 'based on discrimination of any kind'.

African Union System

I.1 Sexual Violence under the African System

The Commission has recognised that sexual violence is 'one of the major forms of human rights violations that has become common in conflict and crisis situations on the continent, and mostly affects women'. The Commission has stressed that sexual violence is prohibited 'irrespective of the sex or gender of the victim and the perpetrator, and of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator'.

Further, the Commission has highlighted that sexual violence is not limited to physical violence and that, in addition to the acts already covered by the Rome Statute and the report of the United Nation's Secretary-General, it may also take the form of sexual harassment, compelled rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, anal and vaginal virginity tests, violent acts to the genitalia (such as burning, electrical shocks or blows), forced pornography, forced nudity, forced masturbation and any other forced touching that the victim is compelled to perform on themselves or a third person, castration, forced circumcision and female genital mutilation and other harmful practices, and threats of sexual violence used to terrorise a group or a community.

Council of Europe System

III.1 States must ensure that no one within their jurisdiction is subjected to CRSV

Under article 3, States must ensure that no one is subjected to torture or ill-treatment. In E.G. v Moldova, the ECtHR found that rape and aggravated sexual assault fall within the scope of article 3, and also impact the right to private life under article 8.

To fall within the scope of article 3, any ill-treatment 'must attain a minimum level of severity'. This minimum depends on all the circumstances of the case, 'such as the nature and context of the treatment, its duration, its physical and mental effects and, in some instances, the sex, age and state of health of the victim'. Treatment is inhuman when it was 'premeditated, was applied for hours at a stretch and caused either actual bodily injury or intense physical or mental suffering'. It is degrading when it humiliates or debases an individual, in disregard of their human dignity, or causes fear, anguish or inferiority that may break an individual's moral and physical resistance.

Inter-American Human Rights System

I.1 Sexual Violence in the Inter-American System

The Court has held that sexual violence encompasses acts of a sexual nature committed against any person without their consent. In addition to physical invasion of the human body, sexual violence may include acts which do not involve penetration or any physical contact. Sexual violence violates a person's right to humane treatment, which encompasses their physical and mental integrity, and may amount to torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ("ill-treatment") under article 5 of the American Convention and the IACPPT.

Taking into account decisions of the now defunct European Commission on Human Rights, the Commission has determined that treatment is inhuman if it 'deliberately causes severe mental or psychological suffering' and is unjustifiable, and that it is degrading if it severely humiliates a person in front of others or forces that person to act against their wishes or conscience.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

I.1 CRSV under the ICCPR

The Committee has condemned sexual violence as 'a form of extreme gender-based violence' that may also amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ("ill-treatment"), in contravention of:

    Article 7 (on torture and ill-treatment). As the Covenant does not contain an exhaustive definition of the forms of treatment covered by article 7, and the Committee has not provided an exhaustive list of practices contrary to article 7 or established sharp distinctions between the different kinds of punishment or treatment, States should determine whether an act amounts to torture or ill-treatment on a case-by-case basis. However, the Committee has clarified that 'article 7 relates not only to acts that cause physical pain but also to acts that cause mental suffering to the victim'. Further, it has specified that conflict-related rape may amount to torture, particularly in the form of gang rapes and rapes committed in detention; Article 17 (on the right to privacy and family life). The Committee has found that conflict-related rape committed by State agents constitutes an arbitrary interference with a victim/survivor's privacy and sexual autonomy.

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

I.1 Sexual Violence under the CEDAW

Under article 1, 'discrimination against women' means any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of denying women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, their human rights and fundamental freedoms 'in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field'. Discrimination against women includes gender-based violence.

While gender-based violence typically describes violence committed against any persons because of their sex and socially constructed gender roles, under the CEDAW the term takes on a more woman-centric focus: the Committee has defined it as 'violence which is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately'. Its prohibition has evolved into a principle of customary international law.

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD)

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International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

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Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

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Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)

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African Union System

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Council of Europe System

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Inter-American Human Rights System

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