SRI urges the Council to promote and protect the full range of sexual rights

Published on July 03, 2012

SRI statement on the follow up and implementation of the Vienna Programme of Action

Delivered by Fernando D’Elio, Akahata (Argentina)


Thank you Madam President

The Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, the International Conference on Population and Development and the fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, are milestones for sexual and reproductive rights. As we approach the twentieth anniversaries of these conferences, it is important to take stock of the progress we have made, the challenges we are still to overcome and the future we want to work towards.

The UN human rights system in particular has made great strides in advancing elements of sexual and reproductive rights through the work of the Special Procedures, the treaty bodies and resolutions of the Human Rights Council on issues such as maternal mortality and morbidity, the right to health, violence against women and sexual orientation and gender identity.

Despite these advances and the consensus reached by States at the relevant world conferences, sexual and reproductive rights remain contested. The increasing politicization of these rights hinders constructive dialogue, has devastating consequences for people’s lives and halts progress towards greater commitment to the fulfillment of every individual’s human rights.

We remind States of paragraph 32 of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action which reaffirms the importance of ensuring the universality, objectivity and non-selectivity of the consideration of human rights issues. We urge States to commit to engaging in and sustaining dialogue on the full range of sexual and reproductive rights issues including decriminalization of abortion, access to comprehensive sexuality education and information, non-discrimination on the bases of sexuality and gender expression, violence against women because of the exercise of their sexuality, among others. We also urge States to pay particular attention to the causes and consequences of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that serve to marginalize, stigmatize and disempower.

States have an obligation to respect, protect and fulfill sexual and reproductive rights and the Council has an important role to play in ensuring that human rights, including sexual and reproductive rights are at the center of the upcoming review processes.

Thank you