Sexual and Reproductive Rights
The European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights is a network of Members of Parliament throughout Europe who are committed to protecting the sexual and reproductive rights (SRHR) of the world’s most vulnerable people, both at home and overseas. The Secretariat is based in Brussels.
Strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including issues concerning HIV/AIDS, is central for a sustainable improvement in the health situation of people in developing and emerging countries. Following the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, international health cooperation has been focusing on strengthening the rights of women and girls and setting up and providing access to sexual and reproductive health facilities. Such measures also improve the situation of expectant mothers, newborn infants and children, and lay the foundations for the social and economic development of societies and the promotion of equality between men and women.
Women’s sexual and reproductive health is related to multiple human rights, including the right to life, the right to be free from torture, the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to education, and the prohibition of discrimination. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) have both clearly indicated that women’s right to health includes their sexual and reproductive health.
This means that States have obligations to respect, protect and fulfill rights related to women’s sexual and reproductive health. The Special Rapporteur on the right to health maintains that women are entitled to reproductive health care services, and goods and facilities that are:
- available in adequate numbers;
- accessible physically and economically;
- accessible without discrimination; and
- of good quality (see report A/61/338).
The World Health Organization Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (SRH) includes the UNDP-UNFPA-UNICEF-WHO-World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP). The SRH department and special programme (HRP) provide leadership on matters critical to sexual and reproductive health through shaping the research agenda and coordinating high-impact research; setting norms and standards; articulating an ethical and human-rights-based approach; and supporting research capacity in low-income settings.