Chapter 6: Femicide and the European human rights system
Open access

This chapter considers femicide in the European human rights system. The Istanbul Convention, which criminalizes forms of psychological and physical violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, forced abortion, sterilization, sexual harassment, stalking, and rape, can potentially respond to acts of femicide. The European Court of Human Right has dealt with domestic violence and rape. As to rape, it has held that non-consent - not physical resistance - should be the key proponent of rape in human rights law. However, the Court should address violence under Articles 3 (prohibition of torture) and 14 (non-discrimination), the latter claim it has dismissed in its landmark Kurt v. Austria claim. Only when committed in prisons, the Court views sexual violence as torture. However, sexual violence and domestic violence amount to torture in femicide, regardless of where they are committed. Finally, the Court recognizes the dynamics of domestic violence and its recurring nature in state responsibility.