UPR 42 Highlights: Sexual Rights-Related Recommendations

Published on February 17, 2023

Below is our list of sexual rights-related highlights from each UPR 42 review. This list presents recommendations made related to sexual rights, including State responses to date.

13 Countries were under review during the session: Czechia, Argentina, Gabon, Ghana, Peru, Guatemala, Benin, South Korea, Switzerland, Pakistan, Zambia, Japan and Sri Lanka.

In collaboration with our partners, SRI submitted reports for Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland and Zambia.




  • Guarantee that all levels and branches of the judiciary comply with the Micaela Act and that guidelines are issued so as not to criminalize those who seek respect for their sexual and reproductive rights. (Costa Rica)
  • Implement the International Conference on Population and Development 25 commitment on intersectional actions on health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive rights and on comprehensive sexual education. (Iceland)
  • Ensure effective implementation of the law on the right to safe and legal abortion, including by disseminating information about the right to legal abortion, facilitating capacity-building for healthcare professionals, and collecting and publicizing data at the local and national level regarding the implementation of the law. (Norway)




  • Accelerate the preparation of the decrees implementing Law No. 2021-12 on sexual and reproductive health, which expands the conditions for access to voluntary interruption of pregnancy. (Mexico)
  • Implement effective strategies and action plans, which have already been adopted to improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young people and at the same time, step up efforts to combat the practice of female genital mutilation. (Cabo Verde)
  • Guarantee the right of transgender persons to health and bodily autonomy by improving access to healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health services and gender affirming medical services. (Iceland)




  • Improve the compensation mechanism for Roma women who were forcibly sterilized. (Norway)
  • Modify the definition of rape within the Criminal Code so that it is based on the lack of consent, rather than the use of force or threats. (Panama)
  • Abolish the requirement of sterilization in the legal gender recognition process, which the European Court of Human Rights has found to violate the protection of the right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. (Switzerland)




  • Strengthen measures and programs aimed at improving the availability and accessibility of sexual and reproductive health and family planning services for women and girls, especially rural women and girls. (Colombia)
  • Implement the commitment made at ICPD25 to roll-out comprehensive sexuality education in the education system by training educational coaches and reviewing initial and ongoing training curricula, and building the capacity for social workers in schools.     (Panama)
  • Consider revising its 1972 Civil Code to enhance legal equality for married women, including by recognising gender-based violence as legitimate grounds for divorce. (Bahamas)
  • Eliminate patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes which contribute to GBV and harmful practices against women. (Iceland)




  • Ensure that the bill on the “Promotion of Appropriate Human Rights, Sexual and Family Values” meets international human rights obligations and standards. (Mexico)
  • Ensure the access of sexual and reproductive health services for all vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities. (Malaysia)
  • Integrate sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, into the Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme, and ensure universal access to quality, affordable and safe modern contraceptives for all men, women and youth in need of such services. (Panama)
  • Adopt measures to ensure universal access to the reproductive health services, including legal and safe abortion, to reduce preventable deaths. (Estonia)



Read our submission to UPR 42 for Guatemala here.


  • Provide age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education, paying special attention to the prevention of teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections, and adequately addressing with objective information consent and gender-based violence related issues, as well as stigmas and stereotypes associated with menstrual health and hygiene. (Panama)
  • Ensure unimpeded access to equality, sexual reproductive health and services and comprehensive sex education for all. (South Africa)
  • Decriminalize abortion in all circumstances thereby guaranteeing dignity, bodily autonomy and well-being of women and girls (Czechia)
  • Deploy measures aimed at prohibiting so-called “conversion therapies”, which attempt to change the gender identity and sexual orientation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.   (Colombia)



Read our submission to UPR 42 for Japan here.



  • Review the national educational curriculum and ensure that teachers provide comprehensive, science-based sexuality education appropriate for students of all ages. (Costa Rica)
  • Make quality, modern contraceptives available, accessible and affordable to women of reproductive age through government subsidies and accelerate efforts to make emergency contraceptives available at pharmacies without a medical prescription. (Netherlands)
  • Review its legislation in order to ensure gender equality, repeal articles 212 to 214 of the Penal Code and amend Article 14 of the Maternal Protection Law to decriminalize abortion and include it as a matter of universal health care, also removing the requirement for spousal consent. (Mexico)
  • Revise the penal code in order to broaden the scope of what constitutes rape or sexual assault and strengthen protection of victims, by replacing the crimes of Forcible Sexual Intercourse and Constructive Sexual Intercourse with the offence Non-consensual Sexual Intercourse. (Sweden)



Read our submissions to UPR 42 for Pakistan here.



  • Undertake measures to remove any barriers that impede access to sexual and reproductive health for adolescents. (South Africa)
  • Take the necessary measures to eliminate violence against women and girls and ensure their sexual and reproductive health through prenatal care, reduction of maternal mortality and access to modern contraceptives, without any discrimination. (Costa Rica)
  • Put in place mechanisms to address the high maternal mortality rate, forced sterilization of women with disabilities, and unsafe abortion practices. (Gambia)
  •  Criminalize all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence and marital rape. (Ecuador)




  • Strengthen the provision of adequate sexual and reproductive health care services. (Mauritius)
  • Comprehensively integrate human rights education in the national school curriculum, including children's rights and age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health rights, and ensure that teachers are provided with adequate training in this area. (Slovenia)
  • Step up efforts to combat violence against women and domestic violence, including by revising provisions on sexual violence and domestic violence, particularly those relating to the definition of rape and other sexual offences, in the criminal laws of all four constituent countries of the Netherlands, in line with international human rights standards. (Liechtenstein)




  • Strengthen the capacity of its health system to ensure the human right to health to all, including sexual and reproductive health services and provide human rights training to health personnel to prevent and address stigma and discrimination in health services. (Portugal)
  • Implement the commitment undertaken at ICPD25 to significantly reduce teenage pregnancies by expanding equitable access to quality, affordable, gender-responsive, and adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health services, information, and education, including the implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in accordance with international standards. (Panama)
  • Decriminalise abortion and develop and implement comprehensive health care protocols to safeguard sexual and reproductive health and rights with specific emphasis on adolescents under the age of 15 with unintended pregnancies. (Norway)
  • Take measures to combat discrimination, through national campaigns on non-discrimination, including against sex workers and LGBTI persons, and adapt the legislation to protect the rights of refugees and migrants, especially against unequal treatment before the law. (Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela)


Republic of Korea


  • Consider expediting amendment of the Criminal Act to decriminalize abortion and ensuring access to safe reproductive health services for women, including safe and legal abortion. (India)
  • Significantly increase efforts to combat gender-based violence against women in all its forms in order to make the necessary legislative amendments to criminalize marital rape, as well as to recognize gender identity, in accordance with personal autonomy and human dignity. (Argentina)


  • Provide age-appropriate sex education classes, paying particular attention to the prevention of teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS and adequately addressing issues of sexual orientation and gender. gender identity. (Luxembourg)


Sri Lanka


  • Strengthen measures to guarantee access of girls, adolescents and women to adequate sexual and reproductive health services, including modern contraceptive methods. (Mexico)
  • De-criminalize abortion and legalize in cases of rape. (Iceland)
  • Amend the legal definition of rape to include marital rape without exceptions. (Costa Rica)
  • Introduce legal provisions that ensure that all rape and non-consensual sexual acts are recognised at law as illegal regardless of sexual orientation or gender. (Malta)



Read our submissions to UPR 42 for Switzerland here.


  • Guarantee equal access for all to comprehensive sexuality education. (Iceland)
  • Amend the definition of rape in the Criminal Code so that it is based on lack of consent, in line with international standards, and remove any provision allowing the judicial authority to reduce sentences or acquit perpetrators of sexual offences (of a less serious nature than rape) due to their marriage or relationship with the victim. (Belgium)
  • Consider explicitly prohibiting non-emergency, invasive and irreversible surgery, or treatments with harmful effects on infants and children with variations in sex characteristics and ensure that these surgeries or treatments are postponed until the children can meaningfully participate in decision-making and give their informed consent. (Malta)




  • Implement the commitment made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) to eradicate harmful traditional practices, such as sexual cleansing and some negative aspects of rites of passage that violate the rights of women, girls and children. (Panama)


  • Criminalize marital rape. (Latvia)


  • Step up efforts to secure the rights of LGBTI persons, including to ensure that these persons have access to safe working environments free from harassment and stigma. (Uruguay)


<p><a class="sri-btn--hollow-sm" href="https://www.sexualrightsinitiative.org/sites/default/files/2023-02/SRI_…">Read the full compilation of sexual rights-related recommendations at UPR 42 Here</a></p>