United Nations in South Africa concerned about reports of forced sterilization in public hospitals

26 February 2020: The United Nations in South Africa notes with concern the findings of the investigation by the Commission for Gender Equality on forced and coerced sterilization in public hospitals in the Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal provinces. The report details the horrific discrimination, mistreatment and human rights violations suffered by at least 48 women, based on their HIV status, race and gender.

According to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, forced and/or coerced sterilisation is gross human rights and medical ethics violation and it is often described as an act of torture and cruelty, inhuman, and degrading treatment.

The UN welcomes the Department of Health’s decision to meet with the Commission for Gender Equality to further discuss its full contents and recommendations.

For further information or media enquiries, please contact Zeenat Abdool from the UN Information Centre on 0827788080 or