Discriminatory Torture and Ill-Treatment

The link between freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment and the right to be free from discrimination is important, and is increasingly being acknowledged in courts around the world. For example, it is now widely recognised as unlawful inhuman treatment to subject certain prisoners with disabilities to the same conditions as those without disabilities. 
Despite the heightened vulnerability of members of disadvantaged groups, there have still not been any landmark international or regional court decisions finding that an act is torture for reasons of discrimination, be that on the basis of race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation or another protected characteristic.
Our work in this area is focused on: enriching the discourse, raising awareness of the importance of tackling the issue, and advancing protection for victims of this type of discrimination through the courts.
  • In India, our litigation on inhuman treatment of persons with disabilities has resulted in some important decisions against government agencies.
  • In Jordan we are combating “protective custody”, a form of discriminatory degrading treatment faced by women victims of domestic violence who are locked up for “their own safety”. 
  • In Moldova we have introduced 70 legal practitioners, judges and civil society representatives to the unified framework on equality and how it is applied to torture and ill-treatment cases. 
  • In Nigeria, we have been supporting over 120 cases of torture and inhuman treatment by police and prison officials against persons with disabilities. 

Other useful links 

In addition, a number of our other projects, while not specifically located at the intersection of torture and discrimination, involve us working on cases of discriminatory torture or ill-treatment. Click on the following links to find out more: AzerbaijanEgypt, IranPakistanRussia and Yemen