Buffalo Human Rights Law Review

First Page


Document Type



In Copyright


Among the various forms of sexual violence perpetrated against the girl-child, breast ironing remains largely obscured due to its underreporting. Yet thousands of girls, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where it is most prevalent, continue to suffer in silence. These girls are not just exposed to the immediate violence of this act, but they also carry the scar of this human rights violation for life. With the scholarly focus on the practice rather scant, the necessary legal response has also been checkmated. The goal of this article is to bring international focus to this problem by examining the practice in the context of Cameroon, where it is most endemic. It highlights the impact of the practice on the life and rights of the girl-child and examines the extent to which the lack of legislation against this practice has allowed it to flourish. The Article concludes by prescribing a series of recommendations, which should shape states’ responses going forward.