Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Uploaded on April 29, 2024
The 47th session of the Universal Periodic will take place from 4 to 15 November 2024. 14 Countries are under review during the session: Norway, Albania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Portugual, Bhutan, Dominica, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rics, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Qatar and Nicaragua. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bhutan and Albania.
Uploaded on April 09, 2024
The 46th session of the Universal Periodic will take place from 29 April to 10 May 2024. 14 Countries are under review during the session: New Zealand, Afghanistan, Chile, Cyprus, Uruguay, Yemen, Vanuatu, North Macedonia, Comoros, Slovakia, Eritrea, Viet Nam, Dominican Republic and Cambodia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Cambodia and North Macedonia.
Uploaded on April 09, 2024
The 45th session of the Universal Periodic was held from 22 January to 02 February 2024. 14 Countries were under review during the session: Saudi Arabia, Senegal, China, Nigeria Mauritius, Mexico, Jordan, Malaysia, Central African Republic, Monaco, Belize, Chad, Congo and Malta. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Malaysia and Nigeria.
Published on March 25, 2024
The functional denial of sexual and reproductive rights is connected to the denial of other rights, including the rights to health, non-discrimination, education, and freedom from violence. We are disappointed Canada did not fully accept several recommendations in support of broader health equity, particularly on access to services for undocumented people.
Published on March 11, 2024
While we appreciate the focus on gendered aspects of care economies, we reiterate that the rights of persons with disabilities to be re-centered in this area, in line with the UN CRPD article 23 as persons with disabilities, in all diversity, are parents, caregivers, and rights holders.
Uploaded on December 11, 2023
The 44th session of the Universal Periodic was held from 6 to 17 November 2023. 14 Countries were under review during the session: Turkmenistan, Cabo Verde, Uzbekistan, Germany, Canada, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Tuvalu, Djibouti, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Cuba, the Russian Federation and Cameroon. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI submitted reports for Canada, Bangladesh and Azerbaijan.
Uploaded on December 01, 2023
This summary contains the essence of our panellists' interventions during our 3rd conversation on the the political economy of sexual rights focusing on coercion, cooption, and collusion: global governance under neoliberalism. This exciting series of conversations hosted by the Sexual Rights Initiative explore how macroeconomics profoundly affects sexual rights and share ideas on effective strategies to address these challenges within social justice activism, including advocacy in UN human rights spaces. By bringing together a diverse group of activists, scholars, and advocates, this virtual conversation series aims to build cross-movement collaboration and global partnerships.
Uploaded on November 17, 2023
This summary contains the essence of our panellists' interventions during our 2nd conversation on the the political economy of sexual rights focusing on coercive and punitive economic measures & sexual rights. This exciting series of conversations hosted by the Sexual Rights Initiative explore how macroeconomics profoundly affects sexual rights and share ideas on effective strategies to address these challenges within social justice activism, including advocacy in UN human rights spaces. By bringing together a diverse group of activists, scholars, and advocates, this virtual conversation series aims to build cross-movement collaboration and global partnerships.
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 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 August 11, 2023
SRI is undertaking a series of conversations to explore the political economy of sexual rights and its implications for global advocacy. Our first conversation will be on the following theme: legacies and contemporary forms of colonialism, imperialism, and occupation, and their impact on sexual and reproductive rights. Join us for this exciting online event on 30 August 2023 from 14:00 to 15:30 CEST. Speakers will be announced shortly. Register now for this event using the form below.
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

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
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 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.
Uploaded on March 31, 2023

This alternative report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), for the review of the State of Paraguay, is a joint contribution between the Network Against All Forms of Discrimination of Paraguay, the CDIA (for its acronym in Spanish) - Coordinator for the Rights of Children and Adolescents of Paraguay, Akahatá - Task Force on Sexualities and Genders, SYNERGIA - Initiatives for Human Rights and SRI - Sexual Rigths Initiative; for the 95th session of the CRC.

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 December 15, 2022

The 42nd session of the Universal Periodic review begins on the 23rd of January 2023. The working group session will take place from 23 January to 3 February 2023. 13 Countries will be under review during the session: Czechia, Gabon, Benin, Switzerland, Argentina, Ghana, Guatemala, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Sri Lanka and Zambia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland and Zambia.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

The 41st session of the Universal Periodic review begins on the 7th of November 2022, and this session marks the beginning of the fourth cycle of the UPR. The working group session will take place from 7 November to 18 November 2022. 14 Countries will be under review during the session: Bahrain, Ecuador, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Finland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, India, Brazil, Philippines, Algeria, Poland, Netherlands and South Africa. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for South Africa, India, Poland and the Netherlands.

Uploaded on August 23, 2022
The main argument of this submission is that 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.
Uploaded on December 11, 2023

This submission reflects on the progress that Azerbaijan has made since its last review to meet its obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. Azerbaijan received and supported recommendations during the last cycle of the UPR on gender equality, violence and discrimination against women, as well as women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues. These include bodily autonomy, reproductive health and family planning, sexual orientation and gender identity, maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, and child marriage. These sets of rights are cornerstones of democratic societies.

Uploaded on December 11, 2023

This report examines gaps in Canada’s obligation to respect, protect, and fulfil the right to abortion. Abortion is a decriminalized healthcare procedure and is enshrined in numerous human rights instruments and ratified conventions. Despite this, many people in Canada face barriers when seeking abortion services and some are ultimately unable to access care.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

The Romanian Constitution guarantees equal treatment of all citizens before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or discrimination. This includes explicit reference to sexual orientation as a protected ground, and legal protection against hate crimes. Despite this, Romania is not respecting, protecting and fulfilling a broad range of rights related to sexuality and gender, particularly as pertains to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This failure is marked by an inability to provide adequate access to contraceptives, the lack of accessibility and availability of abortion services despite abortion being legal in the country, and the failure to invest in HIV/AIDS programming to prevent new cases in the country.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

This report is a joint submission by autonomous collectives in Botswana, whose work is centred on the promotion and protection of LGBTIQ persons, women in the margins of society and young queer persons ’rights and freedoms, with the support of Iranti, Sexual Rights Initiative and Southern Africa Litigation Centre.

Uploaded on June 06, 2023

The 42nd session of the Universal Periodic review begins on the 23rd of January 2023. The working group session will take place from 23 January to 3 February 2023. 13 Countries will be under review during the session: Czechia, Gabon, Benin, Switzerland, Argentina, Ghana, Guatemala, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Sri Lanka and Zambia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Switzerland and Zambia.

Uploaded on May 01, 2023

The 43rd session of the Universal Periodic review begins on 1 May 2023. The working group session will take place from 1 to 12 May 2023. 14 Countries will be under review during the session: France,Tonga, Romania, Mali, Botswana, the Bahamas, Burundi, Luxembourg, Barbados, Montenegro, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Liechtenstein and Serbia. In collaboration with our partners, the SRI collaborated on reports for Romania and Botswana.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

2. This joint submission assesses the Zambian Government’s human rights record since the third cycle of UPR in 2017, and highlights some of the emerging or increasing challenges, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It specifically assesses Government’s fulfilment of adolescent and young people’s sexual reproductive health and rights, providing follow-up recommendations on key areas of concern Government should prioritise in the coming cycle.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

This report is submitted by SEXUAL HEALTH Switzerland and the Sexual Rights Initiative. It examines the human rights situation in Switzerland, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

This joint stakeholder report assesses Pakistan’s progress since its third cycle review in meeting its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill the sexual and reproductive health and rights obligations it has towards young people, particularly women and transgender persons. The submission focuses on access to safe abortion, the sexual rights of LGBT people, and access to sexual and reproductive health information, education and services.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

2. This report is jointly submitted by nine (9) national, regional, and international civil organizations striving to promote SRHR. It highlights ongoing issues concerning SRHR in Japan with a focus on six (6) topics: access to contraceptives including emergency contraception, access to safe abortion, redress for victims of forced sterilization, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE), law reform of the crimes of sexual violence including rape, and universal access to comprehensive sexuality education.

Uploaded on December 15, 2022

This report is submitted by REDJUAMUGEN, The PACT and SRI and the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). This report is the result of a consultation convened to contribute to the UPR in Guatemala, led and implemented by REDJUAMUGEN, was carried out through a multisectoral analysis. This identified the needs and demands of Guatemalan youth, guaranteeing the gender approach by investigating the current national situation in different sectors, forming a holistic analysis, then generating milestones to formulate recommendations for the country and the diverse Guatemalan youth.

Uploaded on November 03, 2022

This report is submitted jointly by the Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland and the Sexual Rights Initiative. The report focuses on violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Poland and the stark impact of the restriction on abortion introduced in November 2020 that amounts to quasi total abortion ban in Poland. The report also addresses barriers in access to contraception, neglect and demonisation of comprehensive sexuality education, and the decrease in ante-natal care.

Uploaded on August 08, 2022

In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for inputs on racism and the right to health, SRI made a submission advocating for an analysis of racism and the right to health addressing both racism and colonialism as determinants of health and as structural violence.

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.

Uploaded on October 08, 2021

Digital inequalities were already high among girls, women and other marginalised groups before COVID-19 but as the pandemic led to an increased digitalisation of life, these disparities have increased dramatically. COVID-19 lockdowns have meant that girls are unable to go online at internet cafes, public Wi-Fi spots, schools or friends’ houses. In homes, access to technology is often shared with and monitored by family members, further limiting girls access to and use of technology.  

With restricted or no access to the internet, girls are at risk of missing out on online education following school closures, suffer increased social exclusion, and they may not have access to reliable and relevant information about the pandemic and about sexual and reproductive health. The lack of digital access also had serious economic and health implications with the impossibility of working remotely and the maintained exposure to COVID-19.

Uploaded on October 08, 2021

This is the moment to radically reimagine our systems and institutions so that they serve the people. The pandemic has shown that when states choose to, they can act swiftly to implement policies and spend resources that would have been unthinkable two years ago.  At the Human Rights Council, we must recognize this moment for what it is -a chance to breathe new and transformative life into the human rights system and everything that it is supposed to stand for.

Uploaded on October 08, 2021

Although laws around gender equality and women’s rights in Somalia have advanced in the past years, there are important gaps that need addressing to effectively guarantee and protect women’s rights. If the recommendations are to have a positive impact on the lives of women and girls in Somalia, the government will need to take urgent and decisive action.

Uploaded on July 26, 2021

In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for contributions, SRI made a submission locating the impact of COVID-19 on the right to sexual and reproductive health within a broader context of racial capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism, ableism and austerity.

Uploaded on July 02, 2021

All people in Canada have a human right to safe, legal, affordable, and accessible abortion care. While the federal government and many provincial governments declared abortion an essential service at the start of the pandemic, little has been done by governments to ensure that people in Canada continue to be able to access the SRH services, including abortion care, that they need. In the face of mounting anti-abortion tactics, it is critical that governments prioritize dismantling the barriers to SRH services and abortion care.

Uploaded on July 02, 2021

In this context, also in Latin America, neoliberal, conservative and anti-gender actors, within and outside the state, were very active in attacking policies and legislation that could advance sexual rights and rights to equality, including gender equality, to create barriers in their implementation or to establish measures of state control and authoritarianism. Although it is important to note that the ferocity of such measures was not as much as in Latin America as in Eastern European countries, Egypt or Russia, it is nevertheless true that these groups found new arguments during the pandemic to add to those they already used. They took advantage of measures adopted by governments to disseminate their perspectives in different ways; from demonstrations to social networks and other virtual media, their speeches included allusions to different conspiracy theories, invocations to restrict rights and distributed false information, all combined to confuse audiences.

Uploaded on July 02, 2021

The revolution is feminist in its postulates as well and the key demand is the dismissal of the government. However the Women’s Strike, which organised the protests, formulated five key areas for change; these are: full spectrum of access to SRHR, a secular state, implementation of the Istanbul Convention, improvement of the material conditions of women and making Poland an inclusive and non-discriminating country.

Uploaded on July 02, 2021

At SRI, we believe that it would be foolish to treat COVID-19 as a temporary hiccup in a generally progressivist tale of the inevitable triumph of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as universally upheld human rights. Experience teaches us to always prepare to have SRHR gains be stalled, coopted, or deprioritized in a crisis, any crisis. The SRHR priority going forward must, therefore, be a refusal to accept “the new normal” – the normal of denial, deprivation, and discrimination – and recognize that the “war” that has been declared on the virus masks another war, one on fundamental and interconnected human rights. The further disempowerment of the impoverished, the unhoused, of gender and sexuality minorities, women in rural areas seeking abortion, adolescents in need of comprehensive sexuality education, sex workers, and women forced into marriage and childbearing – particularly in low-income countries and in low-income communities in wealthy countries – will be written off as the collateral damage of this war. Accepting the war analogy and the discourse of securitization that accompanies it means acceding to the logic of the necessary sacrifice of “foot soldiers” (frontline workers, in this case) and of the weak and most vulnerable among us, and provides a convenient distraction from the impact of the prioritization of military spending and of neoliberal policies of austerity and privatization on health systems and social security nets worldwide that have led us to this crisis. Research from different parts of the world clearly shows that there needs to be a joint, speedy, and concerted effort to catch the backsliding on women's rights, including SRHR, and we can expect that economic recession will be used to justify what the nationalist warcry might fail to.

Uploaded on June 10, 2021

Unaddressed, historical, structural and systemic discrimination and violence in the world create situations of crisis. Systems of patriarchy, racism and xenophobia and/or neoliberal capitalism created and continue to further and entrench this discrimination and violence increasing situations of crisis across the world. The impacts of any crisis on women and girls has to be addressed considering neoliberal policies that have defunded or privatized public health systems, eroded labour rights and other networks of protection, and promoted precarious forms of labour.[1]  At this moment in time, the multiple and intersecting crises the world has been experiencing for centuries have never been so visible. The economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has exposed the brokenness and inequality of global capitalism. These structural oppressions manifest in different crisis situations while exacerbating the existing forms of discrimination they cause. 

Uploaded on March 22, 2021

We suggest the Committee develops an intersectional analysis that recognizes the ableist, racist, classist, sexist and patriarchal systems, structures and institutions that define “productivity” and “dependency," gateways to the world of work. The Committee must not fall into the trap of reinforcing patriarchal, racist, ableist and classist social and moral values into the concept of work by relying on the traditional views of labour, productivity and dependency.

Instead, the Committee should directly debunk them by recognizing that work is not necessary or equivalent to dignity and worth. These “values” are tied to the idea of normalcy and must be challenged, including by opening paths for dignity outside of the right to work; this is the right not to work and still have material conditions to live and enjoy life.

Uploaded on March 01, 2021

This submission first suggests that the Committee should develop an intersectional analysis that recognizes the ableist, sexist and patriarchal systems, structures and institutions that define productivity and dependency. Secondly, it highlights how the full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights, broadly understood, redistributes resources, legitimacy, and power, therefore conditioning access to and keeping work. In reciprocity, access to work mediates the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights. The submission concludes by suggesting recommendations for structural changes to accessing work, health, education, and social protection systems.

Uploaded on June 20, 2019

The Sexual Rights Initiative and partners co-sponsored a side event at the 20th session of the Human Rights Council focusing on criminal laws and women’s right to health. The objective of the event was to provide a forum for States and stakeholders in Geneva to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health’s 2011 report to the General Assembly on the criminalization of sexual and reproductive health including abortion.

Learn more about the event here

Uploaded on May 29, 2019

Country: Belize

Collaborators: SRI, United Belize Advocacy Movement

Key Words: Sexual orientation and gender identity; Human rights; Right to education; Discrimination; Sexual and reproductive rights; HIV/AIDS; Stigma.

 

Country: China

Collaborators: SRI

Key Words: Sexual orientation and gender identity; Right to freedom of expression; Right to education; Right to health.

 

Country: Malaysia

Uploaded on May 29, 2019

Country: Bolivia

Collaborators: SRI, Ipas

Key Words: Sexual and reproductive rights, maternal mortality, criminalization of abortion

 

Country: Bolivia

Collaborators: SRI, Colectivo LGBT de Bolivia

Key Words: Sexual orientation, gender equality, discrimination, violence, sexuality education, public policy, Bolivian legislation, hate crimes 

 

Country: Bosnia Herzegovina

Uploaded on May 29, 2019

Country: Guatemala

Collaborators: SRI, La Colectiva Mujeres, Derechos Sexuales

Key Words: Violencia de género, Violencia sexual, Embarazos no deseados en adolescentes y jóvenes, Derechos humanos de niñas y adolescentes, Femicidios, Acceso a la Justicia, LGTBI

 

Country: Ghana

Collaborators: SRI, Sisters of the Heart, Centre for Popular Education Human Rights in Ghana (CEPEHRG)

Uploaded on May 29, 2019

Country: Grenada

Collaborators: SRI, GrenCHAP, Gorundation Grenada

Key Words: LGBT People, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, discrimination based on SOGIE

 

Country: Guyana

Collaborators: SRI, Society Against

Key Words: Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) LGBT People, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, discrimination based on SOGIE

 

Uploaded on May 28, 2019

Human Rights Council – 31st session

Panel discussion on the progress in and challenges of addressing human rights issues in the context of efforts to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030 – 11 March 2016

Statement by Action Canada for Population and Development

Uploaded on May 22, 2019

HRC25: High-Level Dialogue on Sexual Violence in DRC

Thank you Mr. President.

I make this statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We welcome Security Council Resolution 2122, which invites the Secretary General to commission a global study on the implementation of Resolution 1325. We also welcome HRC Resolution 24/27, highlighting the persistence of a very high level of cases of sexual violence, used as a weapon of war in conflict, and the recommendations contained therein.

Uploaded on May 22, 2019

25th Session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment
Statement delivered by Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) and International Indian Treaty Council

Uploaded on May 22, 2019

Country: Ireland

Collaborators: SRI, Irish Family Planning Association

Key Words: Abortion; Criminalization; Right to Health; Discrimination

 

Country: Lithuania

Collaborators: SRI, Family Planning and Sexual Health Association

Key Words: Sexuality Education; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young People

 

Country: Venezuela

Uploaded on May 22, 2019

Country: Cambodia

Collaborators: SRI, People Health Development Association

Key Words: Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Young People; Sex Work; Sexual Violence; Sexual Transmitted Infections; HIV; Human Rights of Women; Discrimination Against Women; Gender-Based Violence

 

Country: Costa Rica

Collaborators: SRI, Mulabi-Costa Rica

Uploaded on May 16, 2019

In his Preliminary observations during a Country visit to Croatia from 28 November to 6 December 2016, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, Mr. Dainius Pūras, recognized the importance of sexual rights stating “…I would like to underline that sexual and reproductive health rights are human rights.

Uploaded on May 14, 2019

Held during the thirty-first session of the Human Rights Council, the panel discusses key principles, approaches and tools for the promotion and protection of sexual health and human rights. Panelists shared experiences from the national and regional level and recommendations on some of the priority actions needed for the advancement of sexual health as well as addressed the integration of sexual health into Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) priorities.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

In recognition of the Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, the panel Global Action on Safe and Legal Abortion shared different country experiences of advocating for safe and legal abortion, highlighted the human rights obligations of States to provide access to safe and legal abortion, and discussed opportunities to utilize HRC mechanisms to affect policy and legal changes at the national level.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

Most States in all regions of the world deliver some form of sexuality education as part of their education system. However, their implementation is often missing critical aspects related to gender equality, sexuality, human rights, relationship skills, and gender-based violence. During the event, panelists will discuss new tools, guidelines and strategies to bridge these gaps and ensure policy is driven by evidence and human rights standards.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

We, the members of civil society and individuals present at the International Conference on Human Rights and ICPD Beyond 2014 (The Hague, 7-10 July, 2013), representing diverse constituencies from around the globe, welcome the constructive spirit and promising tone of the International Conference. In that same spirit we repeat our call upon governments and agencies to commit to the full realization of the sexual and reproductive rights of all people.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

This briefing paper addresses Religious Fundamentalisms (RFs) and extreme interpretations of religion and their significant impact on women’s human rights protected under the CEDAW Convention, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Specifically, it details the implications of RFs not only for laws and policies but also as a barrier to their implementation. It also addresses widespread impunity that arises when accountability for violations of women’s human rights is threatened due to the influence of RFs.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

A comprehensive resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights in humanitarian settings (A/HRC/RES/39/13), led by New Zealand, Colombia, Burkina Faso and Estonia, was adopted by consensus on Thursday September 27, 2018. This initiative is part of a long-term push by States, civil society organizations (CSOs) and U.N. agencies to address the human rights violations contributing to preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

Challenge religious fundamentalism

One important step in addressing protection gaps in sexual rights: taking a greater intersectional approach and perspective within the existing international framework.

Through a greater appreciation of a) the ways in which sexual rights intersect with other rights, and b) through an understanding and approach to human rights that seeks to address multiple and intersecting forms of injustices and inequalities, including related to sex, gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion and ability, among others

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

The year 2014 was meant to be the year that ended the Program of Action adopted by the Cairo Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. The document was a paradigm shift in understanding and framing reproductive health and rights and prioritizing individuals’ rights to choose and make decisions with regards to their own bodies.

Uploaded on May 07, 2019

A human rights-based approach was promoted at both the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Through the ICPD’s Programme of Action 179 governments committed to ensuring the realization of reproductive rights for all, including women and adolescents and to providing a comprehensive range of sexual and reproductive health information and services.

Uploaded on May 03, 2019

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. This mechanism facilitates the review of the fulfilment by each United Nations Member State of its human rights obligations and commitments, with its full involvement, and with the objective of improving the human rights situation on the ground. The outcome of the review is a set of recommendations made to the State under Review (SuR) by reviewing States, the response of the SuR to each recommendation, as well as any voluntary commitments made by it during the review.

Uploaded on May 01, 2019

Meghan Doherty discusses current global trends in safeguarding and advancing sexual and reproductive health rights. Megan is part of the SRI as Global Policy and Advocacy Officer at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

The presentation took place at Universal Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health: Realizing Health and Human Rights, an Official Side Event of the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council organized by UNRISD and the Sexual Rights Initiative.

Uploaded on May 01, 2019

Through this submission the SRI would like to highlight the links between adolescents’ sexual rights and education. Gender-based discrimination, social control over girls’ sexuality and sexual abuse lead to high drop out of girls from formal education systems. Discrimination against and humiliation of gender non-conforming and transgender children causes them to drop out as well. In South Asia, for example, intersex children are often given away to hijra communities who, facing social ostracization, live in poverty and are kept out of formal education systems.

Uploaded on May 01, 2019

The UPR mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council is used to review each of the 193 Member States of the UN on its entire human rights record every four and a half years. Although relatively new, it is a powerful tool to hold governments accountable for sexual and reproductive rights violations, and to advocate for changes to particular laws and policies that impact on human rights related to sexuality.

Uploaded on May 01, 2019

Despite several initiatives to improve children’s health and reduce preventable mortality, including, among others, those undertaken to implement the Millennium Development Goals, the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, several challenges remain. As noted in the Human Rights Council’s resolution 19/37, more than 7.6 million children under the age of 5 die each year, mostly from preventable and treatable causes.

Uploaded on May 01, 2019

The right to health is central to the achievement of sustainable development and the realization of all other human rights. This submission focuses on sexual and reproductive health, which are confirmed to be “integral elements of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health” and yet, often marginalized; for instance, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) added target 5B on ‘universal access to reproductive health’ as late as 2006, and this target is among the ones least likely to be met by 2015.

Uploaded on October 30, 2018

Women and girls’ sexuality continues to be perceived as the dominion of everyone except women and girls themselves. Laws, policies and practices are constantly defined and redefined towards ‘acceptable’ behaviour of women and girls. Acceptable behaviour is then countered with ‘deviancy’ and the need to ‘correct’ this deviancy. Most often ‘deviancy’ is any behaviour or action that does not mirror the dominant community hegemonies including a non-adherence to the stereotypes of gender and sexuality.

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 August 31, 2018

The 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from September 10-28, 2018. Find below information about anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports, UPR outcomes, and parallel events taking place during the 39th session.
 

Expected Resolutions Relevant to Sexual Rights

Published on July 10, 2018

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, the Association for Progressive Communications, the International Service for Human Rights, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, the World Young Women Christian Association welcome the major gains on women’s and girls’ rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council.

Published on July 09, 2018

The 38th session of the UN Human Rights Council took place from June 18 to July 6, 2018. Below you will find information on some of the key sexual rights related resolutions, oral statements and annual discussions. All of which the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) was engaged with during the session.

 

Featured News

Uploaded on March 31, 2018

In response to the Special Rapporteur’s call for input on the right to health, SRI made a submission focusing on the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of persons with disabilities. The submission challenges stereotypes surrounding sexuality and disability, outlines some of the common barriers to SRHR experienced by women and girls with disabilities, and advocates for an approach centered on autonomy.

Published on September 06, 2017

The 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council will take place from the 11th to the 29th of September 2017. Find below information about anticipated sexual rights-related resolutions, panels and reports, UPR outcomes, and parallel events taking place during the 36th session.

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 February 19, 2016

The 24th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 18-29 January 2016. Here is a recap of sexual rights at UPR24.

Fourteen countries were reviewed during UPR24 including: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Palau, Paraguay, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands and Somalia.

Published on January 04, 2016

This list has been compiled by the High-Level Task Force for ICPD. The task force is an independent body to provide a bold, progressive voice for advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, especially for those living in poverty and otherwise marginalized, and to advance gender equality and the human rights of women and girls, and the rights and participation of young people.

For more information

visit www.icpdtaskforce.org 

 

January 2016

Published on October 06, 2015

 

On September 29th, during the 30th session of the Human Rights Council, we co-hosted a side event to discuss the importance of addressing unsafe abortion in order to eliminate preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

 

Panel Highlights

The panel opened with a video from Ipas on the lack of access to safe and legal abortion in Rwanda.

 

Published on October 02, 2015

On September 22nd, during the 30th session of the Human Rights Council, we co-hosted a side event to discuss protection gaps around sexual rights. The five panelists discussed the nature and causes of existing protection gaps in sexual rights, and gave recommendations to further protections for all individuals in the field of sexuality.

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 06, 2015

The HRC28 Wrap-up provides information on some of the key sexual rights related resolutions, panels and presentations, statements, and parallel events that the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) was engaged with during the 28th session of the UN Human Rights Council from the 2nd to the 27th of March 2015.

 

Sexual Rights-related Resolutions

Towards better investment in the rights of the child

Published on April 07, 2015

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) welcomes the adoption by the UN Human Rights Council (the Council or the HRC) on 27 March 2015 of its annual resolution on the rights of the child, entitled ‘Towards better investment in the rights of the child’. By means of this resolution, the Council calls upon governments to ensure access of all people, including children, without discrimination, to a range of health services, including sexual and reproductive health care services (paragraph 28).

Published on February 04, 2015

The 21st session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 19 – 30 January 2015.

Fourteen countries were reviewed during UPR21 including: Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, and Kuwait.

Published on January 17, 2015

The 21st session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will take place at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 19 – 30 January 2015.

Fourteen countries will be reviewed during the session, including: Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Guinea, Lao Peopl’s Democratic Republic, Spain, Lesotho, Kenya, Armenia, Guinea-Bissau, Sweden, Grenada, Turkey, Guyana, Kuwait

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) collaborated with national NGOs and activists in four countries up for review to prepare five stakeholder submissions:
 

Published on October 24, 2014

The SRI is pleased to announce the upcoming launch event of the UNFPA report Lessons From the First Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review: From Commitment to Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Developed by the UNFPA and based on research and analysis conducted by Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) on behalf of the SRI, the report examines the role the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism can play in advancing the realization of human rights related to sexuality and gender at the global, regional and country levels.

Published on October 21, 2014

The 20th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will take place at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from October 27 – November 7 2014. Fourteen countries will be reviewed during the session, including: Italy, El Salvador, Gambia, Bolivia, Fiji, San Marino, Kazakhstan, Angola, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Madagascar, Iraq, Slovenia, Egypt, and Bosnia Herzegovina.

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 May 21, 2014

The 19th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the Human Rights Council (HRC) from April 28 – May 9 2014.

14 countries were reviewed during UPR 19 including: Albania, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Côte d’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominica, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Nicaragua, Norway, Portugal and Qatar. The outcome reports of these reviews will be adopted during the 27th session of the HRC session in September 2014.

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 March 03, 2014

In response to the request from the President of the General Assembly (PGA) for contributions to the High-Level Event on the role of women, the young and civil society, the SRI prepared a submission focusing on women and young peoples’ sexual and reproductive rights. The submission calls for the Post-2015 development framework to integrate a human rights-based approach.

Published on March 01, 2014

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights recently launched a new publication entitled “Reclaiming and Redefining Rights – ICPD+20: Status of sexual and reproductive rights in Middle East and North Africa.” The publication progress achieved and challenges remaining in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), since 1994 in the MENA region. The report is contextualized within recent and ongoing events including the Arab Spring, Governmental positions during recent global conferences, among other events.

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

To commemorate the 2013 Global Day of Action for the Decriminalization of Abortion (September 28th), the Sexual Rights Initiative organized an event that took place during the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council to discuss the realization of women’s human rights, specifically women’s right to access safe and legal abortion, including through the decriminalization of abortion. Being one of the first events on the topic at the Council, it represents a ground-breaking moment in its history. Widely attended by over 30 representatives from Member States – making up half of the audience, UN agencies, civil society, women human rights defenders and academics, they assessed the human rights implications of the criminalization of abortion and explored strategies to strengthen government accountability and responsibility in respecting, protecting and guaranteeing women’s reproductive and human rights.

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 September 12, 2013

Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD), a member of the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) coalition, was represented on the panel for the UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Annual Discussion on the integration of a gender perspective. The discussion took place as part of the official proceedings of the HRC’s 24th session. The topic of the discussion was “Civil society’s contribution to the integration of a gender perspective in the work of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.”

 

Published on September 04, 2013

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council is used to review each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations (UN) on its entire human rights record every four and a half years. Although relatively new, it is a powerful tool to hold governments accountable for sexual and reproductive rights violations, and to advocate for changes to particular laws and policies that impact on human rights related to sexuality. The 1st cycle (sessions 1-12) of the UPR began in 2008 and ended in 2011.

Published on July 19, 2013

The 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council ran from May 27 until June 14 2013. Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) partners participated in the session to ensure that sexual rights issues are included and advanced. SRI partners collectively advocated for the recognition and integration of issues related to sexual and reproductive rights, gender equality and human rights in the resolutions discussed throughout this session.

Published on July 19, 2013

On June 6th 2013, the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI), in collaboration with the World YWCA, and Permanent Missions to the UN in Geneva of Finland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Uruguay organized a parallel event on ‘the role of the Human Rights Council in advancing sexual and reproductive rights and health in the post-2015 development agenda’.

Published on July 17, 2013

The ICPD Beyond 2014 International Conference on Human Rights took place in The Netherlands from 7-10 July 2013. The Conference is the second thematic conference, following the ICPD Beyond 2014 Global Youth Forum (which took place in Indonesia, in December 2012), to take place within the scope of the ongoing review of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD PoA).

Published on May 18, 2013

During the 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council, the Sexual Rights Initiative is hosting a side-event entitled “Advancing sexual and reproductive rights and health in the Post-2015 development agenda: The role of the Human Rights Council.” SRI partner ACTION CANADA for Population and Development (ACPD)‘s Executive Director (speaking as a member of the High-Level Task Force for ICPD) will join panelists from the World YWCA, the Government of Uruguay and UNFPA.

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.

Published on June 20, 2012

The Sexual Rights Initiative and partners co-sponsored a side event at the 20th session of the Human Rights Council focusing on criminal laws and women’s right to health. The objective of the event was to provide a forum for States and stakeholders in Geneva to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health’s 2011 report to the General Assembly on the criminalization of sexual and reproductive health including abortion.