The Missing Human in Human Rights Law
This article examines the meaning and potential usefulness of interpreting norms of torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, or punishment (CIDTP) through a ‘gender perspective’. It will place particular emphasis on discussing the denial of reproductive rights and gender-based violence and interpreting the actions arising from these violations as torture and CIDTP. I engage in a critical feminist study of the doctrinal aspects of the international human rights law on torture by analysing the legal practice of regional human rights courts and the UN Human Rights Council by evaluating their case law and other legal mechanisms arising from these systems. In addition to these primary sources, I also refer to secondary sources such as reports by UN Special Rapporteurs, studies by civil society organisations specialising in reproductive rights, and academic writing in this field. I suggest the necessity for integrating a feminist and intersectional framework to analyse the creation and implementation of human rights legislation and improve the resilience and effectiveness of the protection and redress provided by these rights. Doing so will further mainstream gender into the practice of international human rights law and will strengthen the protection of those who are victimised and disempowered.