Search results for Vulnerability

Related keywords Children Intersectionality Persons with disabilities Refugee

Related words at-risk at risk vulnerable special protection

Introduction

5.3 The Concept of 'Vulnerability' in International Human Rights Law

Under international law, the concept of vulnerability helps denote persons that 'are more prone to harm than others'. From a human rights point of view, their predicament is 'more challenging than the situation of other members of society'.

Persons in vulnerable situations possess characteristics, such as gender, immigration status and/or socio-economic deprivation, that entail external, structural conditions of risk which place them in a position of higher exposure to human rights violations.

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

III.5 Special protection against CRSV is owed to individuals and groups made vulnerable by discrimination or marginalisation

The principle of non-discrimination is fundamental to the interpretation and application of the CAT. Non-discrimination is included within the definition of torture in article 1(1), which explicitly prohibits specified acts when carried out for 'any reason based on discrimination of any kind'. Accordingly, the protection of certain minority or marginalised individuals or populations especially at risk of torture 'is a part of the obligation to prevent torture or ill-treatment'.

While implementing the CAT, States should ensure that their laws are not discriminatory and in practice applied in a sensitive, inclusive manner to all persons, 'regardless of race, colour, ethnicity, age, religious belief or affiliation, political or other opinion, national or social origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or other disability, health status, economic or Indigenous status, reason for which the person is detained, including persons accused of political offences or terrorist acts, asylum-seekers, refugees or others under international protection, or any other status or adverse distinction'.

Council of Europe System

III.4 Special protection against CRSV is owed to persons vulnerable to discrimination

Under article 14, States must secure the rights and freedoms set out in the ECHR 'without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status', including sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status and membership of an organisation, among others. The ECtHR has considered language, religion, nationality, and cultural and traditional origins to be 'related and overlapping', indicating an acknowledgement that grounds of discrimination are connected.

In their implementation of the ECHR, States should be particularly considerate of the needs of individuals the ECtHR has deemed 'vulnerable', such as children.

Introduction

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

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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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