4 Humane Treatment
Thomas M. Antkowiak, Alejandra Gonza
- Torture — Imprisonment — Children, rights — Women, rights
Whereas other instruments only listed prohibited forms of conduct, the Convention’s Article 5 was innovative for general human rights treaties because it established an autonomous right: “Every person has the right to have his physical, mental, and moral integrity respected.” Later, other treaties followed this example and declared rights to personal integrity and human dignity. Over the last two decades, the Inter-American Court—drawing from regional human rights instruments and the jurisprudence of the European Court and the Inter-American Commission—has delivered a number of authoritative decisions. These judgments have served to expand conceptions of torture and ill-treatment, broaden State obligations, condemn gender violence, and provide wide-ranging redress to victims. Nevertheless, the Court has not always been consistent in its approaches to Article 5, and more recently has shown a troubling reluctance to find torture and other violations in certain cases.