Torture of Children
Since 1997, children have reportedly been tortured or ill treated by state officials in more than 50 countries around the world, including the Philippines. In many cases, children are ill treated because their needs are overlooked in a criminal justice system organized for and by adults. In others, children appear to be deliberately targeted because of their age and dependence. Children are tortured to coerce or punish their parents. Children on the streets may be seen as expendable; those in custody as easy prey for abuse. In armed conflicts, children of an enemy group are often abused precisely because they represent the group's future.
Torture of Women
Discrimination against Women often takes violent forms. Women are raped by armed forces as "spoils of war". They are genitally mutilated in the name of tradition, flogged or killed in the name of honor and terrorized through other forms of domestic violence. Whether inflicted in custody, in the community or in the home, this violence intimately linked to women's' subordinate position in society. Most female victims of torture are from disadvantaged social groups, including prostitutes, street children, drug users and the poor. Often arrested fro minor crimes or suspicion of anti-vagrancy law, their underprivileged status makes them vulnerable to rape, sexual assault, threats, slaps, punches and kicks.
Torture of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgendered people
The torture of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people around the world is concealed behind a veil of secrecy and taboo. It is a worldwide problem but one that is greatly under-reported. The stigma surrounding homosexuality in many cultures means those speaking out are often ignored, further marginalized or abused. Torture is not limited to countries where homosexuality is illegal. Institutionalized prejudice means that lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and transgendered people who come in contact with the law for other reasons may be targeted for abuse. During custody or detention, these same people often find themselves on the lowest rung in the prison hierarchy and are often attacked not just by prison authorities but by the other inmates as well.
Many of today's conflicts are drawn along lines of nationalist, political, ethnic, and religious identity. The political manipulation of these differences fuels many other conflicts raging across the globe.
Particularly in the Philippines, people suspected of being members or sympathizing with insurgents or organizations linked to insurgency groups have great risks of being subjected to torture and ill-treatment either to force them into divulging "information", coerce them to confess and identify "alleged" companions, instill fear in sympathizing or joining opposition groups, or to plainly "punish" them for being suspected of or for being linked to an "undesirable" group.