V.C. v. Slovakia

  • Author: GYLA


In 2000 the applicant, a Roma woman, was sterilised in a public hospital during the delivery of her second child by Caesarean section. The applicant’s delivery record contained a clear reference to her ethnic origin together with a request for sterilisation along with her signature. However, the applicant claimed that she had not understood the term “sterilisation”, and that she had signed the request while in labour and after being told by the hospital staff that if she fell pregnant again either she or the child might die. The Court found the violation of Article 3 of the European Convention, stating that sterilisation of a Roma woman without her informed consent constituted inhuman treatment. The Court also found the violation of Article 8, stating that the state had violated its positive obligation to provide safeguards giving special consideration to the reproductive health of a Roma woman.

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