About Us

The Sexual Rights Initiative is a coalition of national and regional organizations based in Canada, India, Egypt, Argentina, that work together to advance human rights related to sexuality at the United Nations.
A woman with a megaphone.


Click on the logos below to learn more about each partner of our coalition.

Our Work

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) is a coalition of national and regional organizations based in Canada, Poland, India, Argentina, and South Africa with an office in Geneva that has been advocating for the advancement of human rights in relation to gender and sexuality in the UN human rights system since 2006.

Our Aims

The SRI aims to advance sexual rights as a particular set of rights and as a cross-cutting issue within international law, specifically in the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review, the Special Procedures, and the Treaty Monitoring Bodies. The SRI combines feminist analysis with important advances in the recognition of human rights of women, all marginalized communities, and young people.

In order to advance the dialogue and advocacy on sexual rights, we endeavour to bring together perspectives that in the past have co-existed but have not collaborated on sexual rights. The SRI is well-placed to carry out this work as one of few groups consistently contributing to the work of the Human Rights Council, the Special Procedures, the Universal Periodic Review, and Treaty Monitoring Bodies seeking to advance a broad range of sexual rights from an intersectional and feminist perspective.

As NGO participation in the UN human rights system remains largely dominated by organizations based in the Global North, the SRI seeks to provide a more global point of view based on the experiences of SRI partner organizations. The SRI further aims to create a political space for advocacy on sexual rights by adopting feminist principles, bridging Southern, Northern, and Eastern perspectives and incorporating diverse views. We acknowledge that different kinds of power exist and are at play in all our interactions and strive to provide all partners with equal and genuine opportunities for decision-making, engagement, and visibility.


What We Do

The SRI works in partnership with local, national, and regional organizations and networks of sexual and reproductive rights activists to advocate for the inclusion of sexual rights dimensions in:

  • Human Rights Council resolutions, debates, panels, and side-events
  • Special Procedures reports, communications, and country visits
  • Studies and reports prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Treaty monitoring bodies’ general comments and country reviews
  • Universal Periodic Review stakeholder reports and State recommendations



Our Issues

The SRI is committed to advancing every person’s right to sexual and reproductive health and well-being, to bodily autonomy, and to have control over and to make free and informed decisions on all matters related to sexuality, reproduction, and gender, free from violence, coercion, and discrimination.

The SRI regularly engages on a wide variety of sexual rights issues, including (but not limited to):

  • Comprehensive sexuality education
  • Criminalization and other restrictions on safe abortion
  • Early and forced marriage
  • Gender based violence and discrimination
  • HIV/AIDS and human rights
  • Maternal mortality & morbidity
  • Rights of sex workers
  • Sexual rights of adolescents and young people
  • Universal access to sexual and reproductive health information, education, supplies, and services
  • Violence and discrimination based on the exercise of one’s sexuality

Advocacy at the UN

Collage of people.

The SRI participates in every session of the UN Human Rights Council, as well as in UPR and treaty body reviews, to ensure sexual rights are visible, included, and advanced.

The SRI works in partnership with local and national sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations and activist networks to advocate for the inclusion of sexual rights dimensions in the work of treaty monitoring bodies and in the following Human Rights Council mechanisms:



A picture of a person with papers around her.Training

Do you want to learn more about our work in the UN human rights system or collaborate with us? Find out about training opportunities and webinars here!


upcoming trainings


  • Collaborated with hundreds of local and regional activists to consistently raise sexual rights at the Human Rights Council
  • Successfully advocated for first ever references in UN resolutions to: comprehensive sexuality education, adultery, marital rape, intimate partner violence, rights to bodily integrity and autonomy, the right to sexual and reproductive health, and many other substantive language gains related to sexual rights
  • Integrally involved in the Human Rights Council’s decision to take up the issue of maternal mortality, which recognizes maternal mortality and morbidity as a human rights matter
  • Since the creation of the Universal Periodic Review, the SRI has submitted close to 200 reports, all of them in partnership with local/national organizations or activists, and addressing a wide variety of sexual rights issues
  • Developed innovative digital tools to enhance sexual rights advocacy, including the Sexual Rights Law and Policy Database, UN Resources Tool, and the Sexual Rights UPR database
  • Worked to ensure that the Human Rights Council explicitly included sexual and reproductive health within the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health
  • Provided several trainings, seminars, and workshops on sexual and reproductive health and rights for NGOs, Missions, Capitals and UN agencies 

Geneva Office

A picture of a paper clip and on the paper a photo of the Human Rights Council ceiling. Megaphone photography credit: "JMP_9707" by Julian Meehan is licensed under CC BY 2.0 The SRI coalition has had a permanent presence in Geneva since 2012 to support the work of the partners.

Contact our office at: [email protected]

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Current Job Postings

Previous Partners

SRI would like to thank previous partners for their contribution to the coalition.

Coalition of African Lesbians

Coalition of African Lesbians logo