Statement

Published on October 09, 2023
Despite 30 years of the Vienna Declaration, universal access to sexual and reproductive health services for all women, girls, and pregnant people is still very far from reality. Sexual and reproductive health and rights are treated as a siloed issue - with limited relevance for the majority of people.
Published on September 29, 2023

We regret that Botswana received and noted several recommendations on decriminalising abortion, on repealing Section 167 of the Penal Code, and on ensuring access to legal gender recognition. Botswana must eliminate discrimination against women and ensure their access to legal, safe, and affordable sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion, which Botswana still criminalises, and gender-affirming care.

Published on September 28, 2023
We urge Canada to honour its treaty obligations, fully implement the calls to action set out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the calls to justice in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s National Inquiry, and to guarantee in law and practice the rights set forth in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Published on September 21, 2023

The criminalisation of abortion is taking an increasing toll in my country. Women die because of lack of access to life saving abortion care, the entire hospitals rely illegally on the consciousness clause. The recent police intervention in the case of a woman who took an abortion pill and another who miscarried show how the restrictive legal and policy environment is facilitating the abuse of powers by authorities, and legitimising the refusals of care by medical providers.

Published on September 21, 2023
Until all neocolonial and occupying states and forces are withdrawn, until transnational corporations and foreign military bases and operations are expelled, until extractivist industries are stopped, until debt is cancelled and the international economic order reframed to put people before profit, people living under occupation and those who bear the brunt of neocolonialism as well as their allies will continue to fight to be free.
Published on September 15, 2023
The current economic, geopolitical and global health context is a reflection of colonial power dynamics and structures shaping racist inequalities in resources, health access and outcomes within and among countries. COVID-19 highlighted the impacts of decades of systematic underfunding of health systems partly fuelled by austerity, privatisation and structural adjustment programs, underpinned by neoliberal ideologies and approaches.
Published on July 10, 2023

The relationship between health, race, caste, class and gender is rooted in colonial, patriarchal and capitalist control over women’s sexuality, reproduction and bodies and produces distinct experiences of oppression that are often fatal. Racialised women are specifically targeted by harmful stereotypes, the essentialisation of women to their reproductive capacities, forced sterilisation, forced pregnancies and chromosomal testing in sporting events through state interventions or purposeful inaction. This has profound impacts on their health and human rights.

Published on July 10, 2023
JOICFP delivers this statement on behalf of 9 partner organizations on the issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR in short). We deeply regret that Japan did not accept the recommendations it received on decriminalization of abortion, removal of spousal consent requirement for abortion, revision of law that forces sterilization to trans-persons under the legal gender recognition process, and implementation of comprehensive sexuality education.
Published on July 10, 2023
We regret that Pakistan did not receive any recommendations on its HIV/AIDS response, as Pakistan has one of the highest rates of new HIV infection in South Asia. Only 12% of people living with HIV can access treatment, and the public healthcare delivery system faces uneven distribution of health professionals among provinces and towns, a deficient workforce, insufficient funding and limited access to quality healthcare services.
Published on July 10, 2023

We welcome the recommendations made to Pakistan on protecting women’s rights, the rights of transgender people, and sexual and reproductive rights.

We are concerned by the recent regressive ruling by the Federal Shariat court, which struck down key sections of the Transgender Persons Protection of Rights Act 2018.

Published on July 07, 2023
We regret Switzerland’s inconsistent approach to recommendations received on addressing racism and racial discrimination. We remain concerned by structural racism in Switzerland, and its varied manifestations as illustrated through barriers to accessing affordable health services or housing, through restrictive immigration rules and related border harassment, or through a lack of accountability for racial profiling, police harassment, brutality, and murder- as recently exemplified through the acquittal of the police officers who murdered Mike Ben Peter.
Published on July 07, 2023
Although progress has been made in Zambia’s HIV/AIDS response including a general drop in new infections, there has been an increase in new infections amongst youth and adolescents. Zambia needs to increase the roll out of youth-friendly health services, clarify the policy position on the age of consent to health services, and it needs to ensure that young people and adolescents have access to HIV testing, treatment and care.
Published on July 07, 2023
We regret that Guatemala has noted all the recommendations pertaining to the closing of civil society space, creating an enabling environment for civil society organisations to operate, protecting the rights of human rights defenders, and pertaining to meeting its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil sexual and reproductive rights, the rights of women and the rights of LGBT+ persons.
Published on July 06, 2023
We regret that Ghana has taken such an inconsistent approach to the sexual and reproductive health and rights-related recommendations it received during its UPR review, and regret that the addendum to the report does not provide adequate explanations for the chosen approach.
Published on June 30, 2023
Privatisation and financialization of social protection transfer responsibility and risk, to the individual instead of the state. This has two important consequences: first, it absolves the state from its obligations, and second, structural oppressions, which create and entrench inequalities, continue to operate without any challenge.
Published on June 30, 2023
From the criminalization of abortion in Poland, to the anti-LGBTIQ+ laws being passed in Uganda, racist anti-migrant laws and policies across Europe and North America, and the push for punitive frameworks against sex work; these attacks aim to construct an exclusionary society that reinforces social hierarchies of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, caste, and class. Make no mistake, this is structural and intentional violence.
Published on June 27, 2023
The social and economic development that transnational corporations were supposed to bring is just a distant promise for Global South countries, as extractivism, degradation of natural resources, privatisation of public resources and violations of human rights are a palpable reality.
Published on June 22, 2023
Technology and digital innovation have advanced health coverage, particularly sexual and reproductive health, providing spaces for youth, adolescents, and other marginalized communities to access these services without stigma. However, it is essential to underline that we are facing a context where regressive actors are using these same digital platforms to assault women human rights defenders, attacking their privacy and propagate misinformation and disinformation, particularly related to abortion, the rights of trans persons, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and comprehensive sexuality education.
Published on June 22, 2023
Feminists have long understood that poverty is the result of violent impoverishment and (neo)colonial economic exploitation. We know that economic justice is essential for the realization of gender justice - just as it is for racial, disability or climate justice. However, members of this Council continue to treat these issues in siloes, or even as competing human rights concerns.
Published on March 28, 2023
We welcome the numerous recommendations made to South Africa on adolescent and youth SRHR, access to modern contraceptives, termination of pregnancy services and on accelerating a funded, coordinated, and measurable response to gender-based violence and femicide. We regret the lack of recommendations pertaining to comprehensive sexuality education and remain concerned about its delivery in schools.
Published on March 28, 2023
We welcome the Netherlands’ support of the recommendation on bringing the legal definition of rape in line with international human rights law, including the Istanbul Convention. We also regret that the Netherlands noted the recommendation to fully implement guidelines for a more gender responsive and intersectional approach to gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
Published on March 27, 2023
We regret that India did not receive any HIV/AIDS-related recommendations, despite India having the third highest prevalence of HIV in the world. India needs an efficient HIV prevention programme which includes PrEP rollout, improved access to routine HIV screening and testing, and most crucially, treatment and excellent patient care.
Published on March 27, 2023
Indonesia must adopt evidence-based policies to ensure that adolescents and young people have adequate access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. Adolescents and young people, particularly in the eastern part of Indonesia, still lack the information they need to help them to exercise their agency, and to make more informed decisions for their bodies and lives.
Published on March 15, 2023
We note that the Expert pointed out the seriousness of the fact that in 40 years of democracy, the Argentine State, which tried those responsible for the last civil-military dictatorship, has not implemented any mechanism to find the truth in relation to the foreign debt taken by the dictatorship itself. For at least 30 years there has been a social demand to audit foreign debt and cancel the debt contracted by the dictatorship, because it is not legitimate.
Published on December 09, 2022

As observers of the Human Rights Council, we have repeated and continue to repeat our concerns with these so-called efficiency measures. The so-called efficiency measures privilege convenience over the Council's effectiveness, which should concern all of us. The lack of general debates during the June sessions has severely impacted civil society participation. It is particularly true for feminist groups and groups that work on issues of gender and sexuality.

Published on February 14, 2023

Around the world, health systems and health financing have been eroded, undermined and weakened by decades of neoliberalism, austerity, privatisation and structural adjustment programs and an emphasis on minimising State intervention and relying on a discourse of “personal responsibility.

Published on February 14, 2023

The rising inequalities, made even starker due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, are a symptom of the failed economic system that prioritises profit over people and impoverishes people. It is very important to look at the impact of the erosion of public systems through privatisation and financialisation and resulting human rights violations and abuses. In particular, to delve deeper into why public health systems were woefully inadequate to deal with the Pandemic.

Published on August 23, 2022
We thank the committee for the opportunity to provide our inputs. We are however concerned by the barriers to participation for civil society organisations, particularly but not limited to those from the Global South, in today’s discussions due to visa restrictions and high costs of travel to Geneva, and that only part of today’s proceedings are in a hybrid format. We urge the committee to expand the opportunities for consultation and engagement in this critical process, including by hosting regional meetings in order to ensure meaningful participation from organisations from the Global South and the people most affected by racial discrimination.
Published on August 23, 2022
A tripartite approach is necessary in order for states to meet their obligations under CERD Article 5 (e)(iv) concerning access to health and healthcare of all people. First, states must ensure that healthcare is publicly funded through progressive taxation; second, states must adopt a systems approach to fulfil the right to health; and, third, states must take an intersectional approach in all aspects of healthcare provision.
Published on July 01, 2022

Statement by the Uganda LBQ Loose Network, a collective working towards increasing the voice and visibility of lesbian, bisexual and queer women in advocacy, feminist leadership, and women’s rights in Uganda, CREA, the Coalition of African Lesbians and the Sexual Rights Initiative to the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Uganda at the 50th session of the Human Rights Council.

Published on June 20, 2022

SRI, Her Rights Initiative, the Women’s Legal Centre Statement to the Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Published on June 17, 2022

Statement by Action Canada, Action Canada's National Youth Advisory Board and the Sexual Rights Initiative to the 50th session of the UN Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls.

Published on June 15, 2022

SRI Statement on the commemorative event on the occasion of the 50th session of the HRC.
The Human Rights Council will marked its 50th session through a high-level interactive discussion that provided stakeholders an opportunity to reflect on the achievements made and the lessons learned since its 1st session. The following is SRI's statement to this interactive discussion.

Published on October 08, 2021

Collection of data and assessments of consequences of climate change is crucial. However, we already have data that evidences the profound mismatch between neoliberal capitalism, together with patriarchy, racism and colonialism and the right to development and the environmental crisis. This discrepancy will only bring more exclusion, inequality and social control that impacts disproportionally on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups; and will never bring development, and even less sustainable development. 

Published on September 16, 2020

In support of the upcoming International Safe Abortion Day on 28 September, the Sexual Rights Initiative, the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Ipas, the International Service for Human Rights and the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education have developed a joint statement on abortion rights for delivery at the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Published on September 20, 2018

Here are statements the Sexual Rights Initiative has made during the 39th session of the Human Rights Council.

September 10, 2018

Item 3: Clustered interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery and the Independent Expert on democratic and equitable international order.

Thank You Mr President,

Published on March 27, 2018

The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI), Child Rights Connect (CRC), the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Plan International, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) welcome the theme of the Human Rights Council resolution on the protection of the rights of the child in humanitarian situations.

Published on March 24, 2017

Joint statement by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, and Child Rights Connect. Delivered on 24 March following the Human Rights Council adoption of a resolution on the protection of the rights of the child in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Published on October 26, 2016

A fundamental principle of human rights is the equal right to participate in political and public affairs. This is guaranteed by Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as other several human rights instruments, and is a key component of a human rights based approach which seeks to eliminate marginalization and discrimination in the development of laws and policies.

Published on October 06, 2016

Statement Co-Produced by the Sexual Rights Initiative & Centre for Reproductive Rights

Human Rights Council adopts resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights in the face of attacks on women’s sexual and reproductive rights

Today, the Council adopted by consensus its biannual resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity. The resolution represents an advancement to women’s human rights on several counts.

The resolution:

Published on September 26, 2016

SRI Oral Statements made during the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council during the Consideration of the Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review of Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Thailand. The UPR outcome for each State reviewed during UPR25 is adopted during this session of the HRC. The outcome report indicates which recommendations the State agrees to implement, and its responses to other recommendations.

 

SRI Statement on Ireland, UPR Report Consideration – 00:38:13

Published on September 16, 2016

Thank you Mr President.

This statement is delivered on behalf of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, and the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights.

We welcome the follow up report by the OHCHR on the technical guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach to the implementations of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

Published on June 07, 2016

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) is a coalition of organizations from Canada, Poland, India, Egypt, Argentina and South Africa that have been advocating together for the advancement of human rights related to gender, sexuality and reproduction at the UN Human Rights Council since 2006. We are committed to and strongly in support of rights related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Many of us are directly affected as people who are non-conforming in terms of our gender identity and expression and our sexual orientation.

Published on May 05, 2016

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) welcomes the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights’ General Comment 22 on the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health, adopted in March 2016. The SRI actively engaged in the development of the General Comment (See SRI submission to the General Day of Discussion) and believes that General Comment 22 makes a valuable contribution to the realization of sexual and reproduction health and rights for all.

Published on July 15, 2015

The SRI joined more than 50 NGOs in calling upon the U.N. Human Rights Committee to elaborate on the measures States must take to realize women’s right to life, including by guaranteeing access to safe and legal abortion, and other sexual and reproductive health services. The joint statement is below.

Distinguished Committee Members:

Published on July 08, 2015

During the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the SRI collaborated with national-level organizations and advocates to deliver oral statements regarding outcomes from the Universal Periodic Review ‘s (UPR) of Guyana, Kenya, Turkey, and Spain.

Published on July 06, 2015

The Sexual Rights Initiative condemns the adoption of the Protection of the Family resolution by the UN Human Rights Council on Friday the 3rd of July. This is a set back to the advancement of the human rights of individuals as it seeks to elevate the family as an institution in need of protection without acknowledging the harms and human rights abuses that are known to occur within families, or recognizing that diverse forms of family exist.

Published on July 06, 2015

During the 29th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, four UN Special Procedures — the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography — sent a letter to the President of the Human Rights Council expressing concerns regarding the debates on the Protection of the Family resolution.

Published on March 31, 2015

During the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) collaborated with national-level organizations and advocates to deliver oral statements regarding outcomes from the Universal Periodic Review ‘s (UPR) of Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, El Salvador and Madagascar. Responses were also prepared for Egypt and Iran but not delivered due to time limitations

Published on September 24, 2014

During the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) collaborated with national-level organizations and advocates to deliver oral statements regarding outcomes from the Universal Periodic Review ‘s (UPR) of Costa Rica, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Dominica, Nicaragua, Norway and Portugal.

Published on April 26, 2014

Statement by the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC):

The ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC) condemns the regressive and inhuman revision of the penal code of Brunei Darussalam that introduces stoning to death as a specific method of execution for same sexual activities. The ASC is somewhat comforted by the postponement of the implementation of the new code. However, the ASC maintains its position on the introduction of the law, albeit the delay.

Published on April 11, 2014

During the 47th session of the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD), individuals with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and their allies, came together to voice concerns regarding ongoing violations of the human rights of individuals with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions.

Published on March 06, 2014

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), at its recently concluded session, issued a statement on sexual and reproductive health and rights, which is its contribution to the ICPD@20 review process. The Committee reminds us that it “has observed that failure of a State party to provide services and the criminalisation of some services that only women require is a violation of women’s reproductive rights and constitutes discrimination against them.” It States that “the provision of, inter alia, safe abortion and post abortion care; maternity care; timely diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV), breast and reproductive cancers, and infertility; as well as access to accurate and comprehensive information about sexuality and reproduction, are all part of the right to sexual and reproductive health” and that “every State can and should do more to ensure the full respect, protection and fulfilment of sexual and reproductive rights, in line with human rights obligations.”

Published on February 07, 2014

Building on the Hague Civil Society Call to Action on Human Rights and ICPD Beyond 2014, the SRI’s written statement for the upcoming 47th session of the Commission on Population and Development calls on governments to:

Ensure the implementation of all human rights obligations related to the Programme of Action of the ICPD;

Promote equality by tackling the root causes of structural inequalities;

Published on December 12, 2013

Human rights have surged to the forefront of the debate about what will succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. As human rights and social justice organizations worldwide, we feel compelled to lay out some of the baseline implications of embedding human rights into the core of the sustainable development agenda this time around.

Published on September 20, 2013

During the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) collaborated with national-level organizations and advocates to deliver oral statements regarding outcomes from the Universal Periodic Review ‘s (UPR) of Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Published on March 13, 2013

On March 8th, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) held its High-Level Panel on Human Rights Mainstreaming, this year choosing to focus it on the post-2015 development framework.

During that debate, Ethiopia delivered on behalf of a select cross-regional group of 24 States a joint statement to the Council stressing the importance of SRHR to the post-2015 framework.