- What is NST?
- Who We Are
The right not to be subjected to torture is codified in international human rights treaties signed by many countries. For example, Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
No one shall be subjected to torture, to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) defines torture as:
Globally, human rights language identifies torture as:
Non-State actor torture refers to torture committed by parents, spouses, other kin, guardians, neighbors, trusted adults, strangers, human traffickers, johns, pimps or pornographers, for example. It is generally referred to as torture that happens in the private or domestic sphere.
The word ‘classic’ is a term borrowed from the literature that refers to the acts of torture perpetrated by State actors (police, military or other government employees). The torture tactics of non-State torturers frequently mimic/adapt the torture tactics of State torturers. For example, water torture is adapted in the home by using a bath tub or a barrel filled with water which is then used to submerge the victimized person until they are unconscious.
For information on NST within the sexualized exploitation of women and girls prostituted and pornography, see Human Trafficking.
Socio-cultural based non-State torture occurs within a variety of traditional, cultural, and religious belief based practices. For example female genital mutilation (FGM), widow burning and acid burning.