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Identifying the Harm: Coercive Sterilisation on Contested Interpretive Terrain

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines how the harm of coercive sterilisation of women has been articulated in human rights law and finds contested terrain. It examines a number of possible axes: (1) the ban on genocide and crimes against humanity; (2) violence against women; (3) the norm of free and informed consent in any intervention in the health field as a core principle of bio-medical ethics, including as it relates to the right to health under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; (4) the harms articulated in the European Convention on Human Rights, including the ban on degrading treatment (Article 3); infringements of the right to private and family life (Article 8); infringements of the right to marry and found a family (Article 12); as well as the related issues of rights to remedy (Article 13) and the ban on discrimination, including discrimination based on sex (Article 14).

Keywords: Article 12; Article 13; Article 14; Article 3; bio-medical ethics; coercive sterilisation; cultural rights; genocide; human rights law; women



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