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African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, ‘General Comment No. 4 on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights: The Right to Redress for Victims of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment (Article 5)’, 4 March 2017


Prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatments. Sexual and gender-based violence. Right not to be subject to forced and coercive sterilization.

Normative references

Art. 5 ACHPR


Acts of sexual and gender-based violence, or the failure by States to prevent and respond to such acts, may amount to torture and other ill-treatment in violation of Article 5 of the African Charter, in view of the specific, traumatic and gendered impact of sexual violence on victims, including the individual, the family and the collective. These acts include physical and psychological acts committed against victims without their consent or under coercive circumstances, such as rape (including so-called ‘corrective rape’), domestic violence, verbal attacks and humiliation, forced marriage, isolation, dowry-related violence, trafficking for sexual exploitation, enforced prostitution, indecent assault, denial of reproductive rights including forced or coerced pregnancy, abortion and sterilisation, forced nudity, mutilation of sexual organs, virginity tests, sexual slavery, sexual exploitation, sexual intimidation, abuse, assault or harassment, forced anal testing, or any form of sexual or gender based violence of comparable gravity.