Women's Human Rights Resources Database


Your search for the subject "Reproductive Rights" found 79 records.

[ Articles Documents Links ]

Click each title for item details
Documents by United Nations Bodies and Agencies

United Nations General Assembly, Discussion Paper for the Round Table on Human Rights, HIV/AIDS and Gender, U.N. Doc. A/59/CRP.3 (March 2005)

This discussion paper addresses the international Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the growing concern about the spread of HIV/AIDS and its relation to human rights violations and gender inequality. The paper provides a summary of the progress since the signing of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and indicates strategies that need to be implemented to combat the epidemic: promoting human rights and gender equality, reducing vulnerability of displaced and trafficked persons, and ensuring the full participation of people with HIV/AIDS in policy implementation. Lastly, the paper indicates ways in which countries can improve their efforts to combat the epidemic. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Gordon, Peter, Crehan, Kate, Dying of Sadness: Gender, Sexual Violence and the HIV Epidemic, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (1999)

The authors of this report examine sexual violence and its consequences for the HIV epidemic. They present a definition of sexual violence and evidence of its prevalence in the world, especially in conflict situations. The authors contend that people are contracting HIV in significant numbers due to sexual violence. They then offer strategies aimed at alleviating the problem of sexual violence at the local, national, and international levels. Strategies discussed include support for the victims, prosecution of perpetrators, as well as social and economic development. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UNIFEM, Economics and Rights: Interconnections in the Context of HIV/AIDS and Feminized Poverty, Ministerial Roundtables Hosted by UNIFEM (April 2003)

These documents are presentations made at the ministerial roundtables organized by UNIFEM in April 2003 in New York in preparation for ECOSOC meetings in July 2003 in Geneva. The roundtable talks focused on issues such as: the relationship between the spread of HIV/AIDS and food insecurity, women's work in the food production industry, the impact water privatization on poverty, and how economic policies and poverty reduction frameworks can respond. Overall, the speakers concluded that the interaction between poverty and HIV/AIDS threatens women's lives and health, and impedes development of rural societies. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UNAIDS and The UN Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, Facing the Future Together: Report of the United Nations Secretary-General's Task Force on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa, 2004

This report highlights the potential to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic through consideration of the position of women and girls. The report identifies key issues to consider including girl's education, violence, and property and inheritance rights. There is also a review of the regional and international commitments to addressing HIV/AIDS and a recognition of the gap between policy and practice in many cases. The report then reviews strategies to address these gender inequalities including strengthening the legal and policy frameworks supporting women's rights to economic independence and empowering women. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
World Health Organization, Female Genital Mutilation: Information Pack , (1999)

This information pack produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) about female genital mutilation contains, among other things, a description of the practice, statistics about its prevalence and distribution, a brief discussion of the international standards prohibiting FGM, a list of groups and contact persons working to elminate the practice, and a selected bibliography. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

United Nations, Fourth World Conference on Women Platform for Action (PFA), 15 September 1995, A/CONF.177/20 (1995) and A/CONF.177/20/Add.1 (1995)

The Platform for Action (PFA), which describes itself as "an agenda for women's empowerment," was adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women. It is not a legally binding international treaty or convention. The PFA sets out strategic objectives for countries to achieve and recommends actions that counties should take to achieve these objectives. The following is a non-exhaustive list of actions that have potential relevance to abortion issues. Chapter 4B deals with education and training of women: paragraph 83k recommends that governments and educational authorities remove barriers to sexual and reproductive health education where formal education programmes exist dealing with women's health. Chapter 4C deals with women and health: paragraphs 106a, b, e, f, and h-k; 107a,d, e, and g; 109i, 110a; and 111b recommend actions to be taken that have potential relevance to abortion issues. Chapter 4L deals with the girl-child: paragraph 281c recommends that governments and NGOs take steps to improve health education and health services-including reproductive and sexual programmes-that are appropriate for girls; paragraph 281e recommends that governments and NGOs ensure that girls have access to education and information on inter alia reproductive and sexual health and responsible family planning. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Nath, Madhu Bala, Gender, HIV and Human Rights: A Training Manual, UNAIDS/UNIFEM (2000)

This training manual is divided into 4 training modules along with an introduction and appendix. In the first module, the authors outline basic facts and statistics on the HIV/AIDS epidemic and introduce the gender dimensions and human rights aspects. Module 2 is a detailed programme for a one-day workshop on gender concerns in HIV/AIDS and development. The gender disparities in HIV infection and reasons for female vulnerability to HIV/AIDS are discussed. Module 3 is a detailed programme for a two-day workshop on the human rights approach to HIV/AIDS. Many human rights topics are covered, with a focus on discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS and the implications for national development planning. Module 4 presents reactions from participants and evaluation questionnaires. Most of the modules provide training aids and reading lists. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, General Comment No. 3 "HIV/AIDS and the right of the child", CRC/GC/2003/3 (2003).

This General Comment aims to strengthen the understanding of the rights of children in the context of HIV/AIDS and to identify means through which states can increase the protection of these rights. The Comment identifies key rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which are threatened by HIV/AIDS. The Committee notes a particular concern over gender-based discrimination and urges states to recognize the impact this discrimination has upon girls. The Comment concludes with specific recommendations for state parties to the Convention, including the incorporation of policies on HIV/AIDS which recognize the particular challenges facing children in this epidemic. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 15 "Women and HIV/AIDS", Ninth Session, 1990

This General Recommendation by the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women focuses on the impact of HIV/AIDS on women. The recommendation states that any programs addressing the impact of the infection must include a specific focus on the rights of women and children. The recommendation encourages state parties to increase public awareness of the risk of HIV/AIDS infections. State parties are also requested to ensure that women are active participants in primary health care systems. The recommendation concludes by requesting state parties to include information on their efforts within their annual reports to the Committee. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, General Recommendation No. 24 "Women and Health", 20th Session, 1999

This General Recommendation focuses on elaborating the right to health under Article 12 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. The recommendation outlines the obligations of states in respecting, protecting and fulfilling the right to health for women. The United Nations Committee also recognizes the central importance of addressing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in fulfilling the right to health for women and places an emphasis on the responsibility of governments in providing full educational information. The Committee concludes with recommendations for governments in ensuring women's right to health. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UNICEF, Girls, HIV/AIDS and Education, United Nations Children's Fund, 2004

This report, produced jointly by UNICEF and The Global Coalition on Women and AIDS, looks at growing rates of HIV/AIDS amongst young women and the link to issues of women's rights. The focus of the paper is the connection between a girl's level of education and her likelihood of being aware of HIV/AIDS as well as her likelihood of exercising safe practices to prevent infection. Various sets of data are included supporting these correlations. The paper emphasizes the importance of improving childhood education, particularly amongst girls, as a means of helping to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS. Girls' access to education is discussed as an issue of gender disparity and human rights. Recommendations are included. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS - International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]

The author of this paper argues that HIV/AIDS presents a threat to human security. Part one discusses (a) the ways in which HIV/AIDS threatens human security; (b) the "negative synergy" between HIV/AIDS and poverty, HIV/AIDS and conflict, and HIV/AIDS and gender; and (c) the interaction between soldiers, youths and women. Part two contains recommendations and guiding principles in the areas of empowering women, training soldiers, and strengthening international commitment. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Quinn, Gerard, Degener, Theresia, United Nations, Human Rights and Disability: The Current Use and Future Potential of United Nations Human Rights Instruments in the Context of Disability, [2002] United Nations: New York and Geneva.

This report examines international human rights in the context of their application to disabled persons. The authors report that disabled mothers and women with intellectual impairments are discriminated against in terms of access to family programs and reproductive rights. The United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the General Assembly in 1993, is used to interpret provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) relating to marriage and family life. [Descriptors: Marriage - International]

View Article - [ DOC Format]

World Health Organization, Human Rights, Women and HIV/AIDS, WHO Fact Sheet No. 247, Geneva (2000)

This information sheet from the World Health Organization begins by noting the pervasive lack of respect for women's rights to safe sexuality and links this issue to women's lack of economic security. Other concerns relating to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and women include issues of sexual violence and the lack of education for adolescents on these issues. The publication also contains information regarding human rights issues raised on preventing transmission of the virus from mother to child. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Puri, Lakshmi, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Opening remarks at the Women Deliver Conference: Women deliver for us all, now it is time for the world to deliver for women , (May 28, 2013)

This document contains the opening remarks given by Lakshmi Puri (the then-Acting Head of UN Women) at the "Women Deliver" Conference, co-sponsored by UN Women, in May 2013. Puri discusses UN Women's successes in enhancing women's rights in various areas including political participation and health systems. She also discusses structural policy changes that are still necessary, with a particular emphasis on reproductive and sexual rights. Puri additionally suggests that UN Women's post-2015 agenda focus on: (1) preventing violence towards and the physical insecurity of women, (2) expanding women's resources and capabilities to enable greater choice, and (3) ensuring women's participation in public and private decision-making.

View Article - [ OTHER Format]

Albertyn, Cathi, Prevention, Treatment and Care in the Context of Human Rights: Expert Group Meeting on "The HIV/AIDS Pandemic and its Gender Implications", EGM/HIV-AIDS/2000/WP1, Windhoek Namibia, November 13-17 (2000)

This paper assesses the impact of HIV/AIDS on women through a human rights framework. The author begins by recgonizing the potential value of human rights in assisting women, but notes that even with the conceptual benefits, human rights advocacy must be utilized strategically. The paper reviews of the relationship between gender inequality and HIV/AIDS, and discusses vulnerability to infections, living with HIV/AIDS and the socio-economic impact upon women. The author provides an assessment of relevant human rights for addressing prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, and discusses how these rights should be framed to carry the greatest relevance. The conclusion includes recommendations for international agencies, states and civil society on legal and social measures to address gender inequality and HIV/AIDS. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Reduction of Maternal Mortality, A Joint WHO/UNFPA/UNICEF/World Bank Statement

This joint statement represents a consensus between the World Health Organization, the United Nations Populations Fund, and the World Bank and "is an example of the common purpose and complementarity of programmes supported by the four agencies and designed to reduce and prevent maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity". Reaffirming that safe motherhood is a human right, the joint statement outlines policy and legislative actions that the three international agencies view as essential to the reduction of maternal mortality. It also includes social and community interventions that are to run parallel to actions taken in the health sector. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Safe Motherhood, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Report of the Round Table on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights: Key Future Actions , April 1998

This report documents the Round Table on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, which was held to review progress made in implementing the recommendations of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Part I points out the sections of the ICPD Programme of Action (POA) that specifically address adolescent reproductive and sexual health and rights. Part II briefly describes the state of adolescent reproductive health in today's world, highlighting areas of particular concern. Part III describes progress made since the ICPD in the areas of rights, policy, and programming. Part IV discusses constraints to implementing the POA and suggests approaches to overcome them. Part V sets out future actions to address adolescents' reproductive health needs, including advocacy for action, fostering an enabling environment, creating and promoting programmes for adolescents, strengthening knowledge for action and resource mobilisation. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UNAIDS, Report on the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic , 2004

This report from UNAIDS was produced for the 2004 International AIDS Conference in Bangkok. The report begins by providing an overview of the global nature and impact of the AIDS epidemic. The report proceeds to examine the impact of AIDS on people and families, with a particular focus on the ways in which the AIDS epidemic disproportionately affects women. The report reviews issues involving treatment and care and utilizes a human rights framework in this assessment. The report concludes with an examination of national responses to the epidemic. The appendices of the report contain detailed information on the status of AIDS in individual countries and list of relevant resources. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International}

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UN Commission on Human Rights, Second International Consultation on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, Report of the Secretary-General, E/CN.4/1997/37 (1997)

This report summarizes the extensive consultations between United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society and governments on the issue of HIV/AIDS and human rights. The outcome of these consultations were the Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, which state the importance of providing community support for vulnerable groups including women. The background report recognizes women as a vulnerable group and examines their specific experience with HIV/AIDS. In outlining the human rights of women, the report sets out essential state action in preventing transmission and in empowering women through ensuring the recognition of their full legal equality. The conclusion of the report elaborates on the Guidelines and the obligations of states to protect human rights in the context of HIV/AIDS. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

UN Division for the Advancement of Women, WHO, and UNAIDS, The HIV/AIDS Pandemic and its Gender Implications, Report of the Expert Group Meeting: Windhoek, Namibia, 13-17 November 2000.

This is the report of an Expert Group Meeting on the gender implications of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic held in Windhoek, Namibia in November 2000. The report critiques the traditional portrayal of the pandemic as merely a public health problem and attempts to shed light on the various human rights and women's rights dimensions of the crisis. Issues addressed in the report include the effects of gender-based social and economic inequalities and power relations; the right to education and information; the intersection between religion/culture and rights/security; national and household food security; the right to participation and good governance; women as caregivers; violence against women; and special vulnerabilities caused by war and conflict. The report concludes by making a series of specific recommendations for policy changes by governments, international organizations and international financial institutions. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), The Progress of Nations 2000 , 2000

The Progress of Nations is an annual report that records progress made around the world in improving the lives of children. The first part of the 2000 report focuses on the impact of AIDS on youth. The second part of the report focuses on the importance of early childhood care. The third part focuses on the progress of immunization efforts. The fourth part focuses on "the lost children," who are the poorest of the poor, the most exploited, and who are invisible in society because of their profound poverty. For each of the four subject areas in the report there are commentaries from activists or experts in the field, tables of statistics, descriptions of progress made, and descriptions of problems that still need to be resolved. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Rights - Adolescents, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Made, Patricia, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Transforming the National AIDS Response: Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Women's Human Rights into the "Three Ones", (2012)

In this report, UN Women advocates a gender-sensitive and human rights based approach to national HIV/AIDS strategies. In particular, the report identifies gender equality and women's rights as a priority when implementing the "Three Ones principles" (namely, one national AIDS action framework, AIDS coordinating authority, and monitoring and evaluation system). The report argues that a gender- sensitive approach would help empower women and girls in the fight against HIV/AIDS and guarantee their rights to prevention, treatment, care, and support. This report highlights gender-based considerations that should be adopted when formulating the "Three Ones principles" and also provides recommendations for implementing a national AIDS strategy that encourages the full participation of women. The report advocates that a national strategy must adopt a gender sensitive approach to treatment by that recognizes disparities women face in accessing and receiving treatment, promotes social equality, and addresses the needs of particular vulnerable groups.

View Article - [ OTHER Format]

UNIFEM, Turning the Tide: CEDAW and the Gender Dimensions of the HIV/AIDS Pandemic, 2001

This report begins by noting that women are receiving insufficient information to protect themselves from the HIV/AIDS virus. There is a review of the obligations of governments under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women to address this deficit in education. The report also considers certain distinct issues facing women in protecting themselves from HIV/AIDS and specifically outlines the consideration of these issues under the Convention and by the Committee. Issues which are reviewed include gender-based violence, access to health services, and women's leadership and participation. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Centre For Human Rights, Fact Sheet No.23, Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, (no date)

This fact sheet notes that early marriage is recognized as a harmful practice in part because it usually results in a denial of other rights (e.g.: education). The fact sheet acknowledges that although harmful traditional practices such as early marriage violate international human rights laws, "such practices persist because they are not questioned and take on an aura of morality in the eyes of those practising them". The fact sheet includes a "Plan of Action for the Elimination of Harmful Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children" prepared by the second United Nations Regional Seminar on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children, held at Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 4 to 8 July 1994 (E/CN.4/Sub.2/1994/10/Add.1 and Corr. 1); adopted by the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities in its resolution 1994/30 of 26 August 1994 (para. 3). [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

World Health Organization, Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS: Critical Intersections: Intimate Partner Violence and HIV/AIDS, 1 INFORMATION BULLETIN SERIES, 1-9 (2004).

This information bulletin argues that intimate partner violence should be considered in the campaign against HIV/AIDS. It explains that intimate partner violence is linked to HIV infection in several ways: (a) coercive sex increases the chances of infection; (b) women who suffer from partner violence tend to engage in sexually risky behaviour which increases chances of infection; (c) women may be unable to negotiate condom use; (d) women who are involved in violent relationship may have older or riskier partners who are more likely to have HIV/AIDS; and (e) women who have HIV may face violence because of their positive status. The rest of the bulletin focuses on programs and strategies that address violence against women and HIV/AIDS. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
UNAIDS, Women and AIDS: Confronting the Crisis, UNAIDS, UNFPA and UNIFEM (2004)

This report addresses gender inequality, poverty and AIDS. It describes efforts to reduce the AIDS epidemic and recommends providing women with knowledge and a means to prevent HIV infection, as well as overall access to primary and secondary education and women's literacy. The report emphasizes the need for equal and universal access to treatment for the infection. It notes the link between violence and AIDS and recommends zero tolerance to any forms of violence. Moreover, the report asserts that recognition and protection of women's human rights is fundamental for women to protect themselves. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Government Bodies

Greaves, Lorraine, Varcoe, Colleen, A Motherhood Issue: Discourses on Mothering Under Duress, (Ottawa: Status of Women Canada, October 2002)

This study, focused primarily on the province of British Columbia in Canada, examines the discourse on mothering under duress as evidenced by media reports, public policy and the individual experiences of women. Three cases in particular are examined: mothers experiencing mental health issues, mothers suffering domestic violence and mothers who engage in substance use. The authors note that a mother's rights tend to be viewed as subordinate to her child and argue that the mother-child unit should actually be granted rights beyond simply those of each individually. The authors outline a "mothering framework" to be used in developing policies surrounding mothering. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Safe Motherhood, Canada]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Canadian Human Rights Commission, Canadian Human Rights Commission Policy on HIV/AIDS, 1988 (REVISED June 1996)

The Canadian Human Rights Commission's policy on HIV/AIDS recognizes and combats discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS in the workplace. It states that everyone has the right to equality and to be treated with dignity and without discrimination, regardless of HIV/AIDS status. While the policy does not explicitly address rights issues for women with HIV/AIDS, it applies equally to men and women and discusses HIV/AIDS in the context of equality rights and nondiscrimination. The Commission maintains that HIV-free status should not be considered an occupational requirement unless it is essential to safe, efficient and reliable job performance. Pre- and post-employment HIV testing is not condoned by the Commission as such testing could lead to discrimination against individuals with HIV-positive status. The Commission also states that it will improve public education and encourage workplace policies to reduce misunderstandings about HIV/AIDS. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Stolz, Lori, Sharp, Louise, Health Canada, HIV Testing and Pregnancy: Medical and Legal Parameters of the Policy Debate, (1999)

This report includes a section analyzing whether a women's right to consent to and refuse medical treatment can be overridden to protect the health of her fetus. Through an examination of case law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the authors argue that a government-initiated mandatory HIV testing policy would give rise to constitutional challenges. The authors focus primarily on section 8 of the Charter (right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure) and maintain that a seizure of a woman's blood sample would not likely be considered reasonable, nor would infringement of the right be justified in a free and democratic society. The authors also discuss the constitutionality of replacing a policy of informed consent with one that automatically tests women unless they explicitly refuse. They argue that such a policy would likely violate section 7 (right to life, liberty and security of the person). The report includes recommendations as well as an appendix with information about testing policies across Canada. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
United States Department of State, Prevalence of the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); Laws Prohibiting FGM and their Enforcement; Recomendations on How to Best Work to Eliminate FGM, Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues (June 27, 2001)

This report on FGM covers the background necessary to understanding the practice, and focuses on how the United States has responded to its prevalence. International response is also reveiwed. The report covers the laws applicable to FGM in countries where it is practiced and in countries where immigrants from those cultures reside. Recommendations for ending the practice include education, empowerment, enforcement of laws banning FGM, and monitoring of effective programs for its elimination. At the end of the report, a chart lists countries and indicates the prevalence of types of FGM, groups involved, and laws or measures taken with regard to it.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Information from Non-Governmental Organizations

Human Rights Watch, A Dose of Reality: Women's Rights in the Fight against HIV/AIDS, (2005)

This document reviews the spread of the AIDS epidemic, its disproportionate impact upon women and girls, and the failure of governments to enact appropriate policies to respond to this impact. The paper reviews key human rights issues including domestic violence, sexual abuse and the rights of property ownership and links the violations of these rights to the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. The report concludes by outlining key areas of legal reform, policy initiatives, and public education so governments could better respond to the impact of HIV/AIDS on women. The report also includes considerations for international organizations and donors. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Human Rights Watch, A MATTER OF POWER: STATE CONTROL OF WOMEN'S VIRGINITY IN TURKEY, (New York, Human Rights Watch, 1994) 38 pages.

Despite statements condemning the practice, the Turkish government has failed to adequately prohibit forcible viriginity control exams or to punish state agents who are involved. This report of Human Rights Watch follows from a mission to Turkey in 1993 to investigate this problem. It begins by briefly outlining the social and legal context within which this practice is found. It then outlines the international human rights norms which forced virginity control exams violate. The report then turns to discuss four aspects of this problem - abuse of women in custody, abuse by other state agencies, state participation in family-initiated virginity exams, and the role of the government and medical profession. The report concludes with recommendations for the Turkish government, Turkish health care professionals, the U.S. government, the European Union and the Council of Europe. Available for on-line order.

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Abortion Laws in the Post-Cairo World Changes and Recommendations for Action, (New York: Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, 1999)

This document is a briefing paper that examines changes in abortion laws that have occurred since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The first section on legislative developments briefly summarizes the developments in national abortion laws that have occurred since the ICPD. Seven countries that have liberalized their abortion laws and two countries that have restricted their abortion laws since 1994 are discussed. The second section of the paper provides recommendations for action by governments, NGOs, and international donors. Actions focus on the removal of legal and regulatory barriers to abortion. Actions are suggested for both countries in which abortion laws are restrictive and those in which they are more liberal.

Center for Reproductive Rights, Abortion Worldwide: Seventeen Years of Reform , (2011)

The document provides a list of legal reforms relating to abortion instituted in various countries since the 1994 Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. The vast majority of the legal reforms have broadened the circumstances under which abortion is legal, but there are some countries which have taken steps to legally restrict access to abortion. The article begins with the list of countries that have liberalized their abortion laws nation-wide, followed by the countries that have liberalized their abortion laws in particular regions only. Lastly, the document lists countries that have issued regulations to restrict access to abortion.

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Center For Reproductive Law and Policy, Adolescent Reproductive Rights: Laws and Policies to Improve Their Health and Lives, (no date)

This briefing paper focuses on certain issues that are universal to all adolescent girls - such as education, contraception, sexual violence, HIV/AIDS, abortion, and access to reproductive health care - and those that are of particular regional significance such as early marriage and female circumcision/female genital mutilation. The paper identifies the international legal standards that are relevant and recommends a critical legal and policy measure that all governments should strive to achieve. Finally, this paper presents a comprehensive summary of post-International Conference on Population and Development laws or policies that represent a "best practice". [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Fleischman, Janet, Breaking the Cycle: Ensuring Equitable Access to HIV Treatment for Women and Girls, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), February 2004.

This report states that a gendered approach to HIV/AIDS treatment initiatives in resource-poor countries is necessary to address the gender inequities that make women and girls particularly vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS. The author begins by providing recommendations to make US policy towards HIV/AIDS more gender conscious. She then discusses the gendered dimensions of the disease, stating that "the AIDS crisis is fueled by women's social, economic, and biological vulnerabilities". The author emphasizes that the rising infection rate amongst females is in large part due to widespread human rights violations such as rape, sexual violence and coercion, cross-generational sex, income dependency, discriminatory access to education, health care, and property and inheritance rights. The document ends with a discussion on mother-to-child-transmission (MTCT) programs and antiretroviral (ARV) therapy, focusing on the promising developments of ARV programs in Botswana and South Africa. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
International Planned Parenthood Federation, Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights ,

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights provides an ethical framework within which IPPF carries out its mission. It is an integral activity of Vision 2000, IPPF's Strategic Plan, which documents the most important issues, goals and programmatic challenges that the Federation and individual family planning associations must address in the coming years. The Charter is legal in character, as it is based on recognized international human rights law (UN charters, conventions etc.) which refer to relations between the state and its population and to state obligations to the population. In this Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, IPPF has taken some of these concepts, and has supplemented them with principles relating to sexual and reproductive health. By drawing on relevant extracts from international human rights instruments, the Charter demonstrates the legitimacy of sexual and reproductive rights as key human rights issues. Because this Charter is sourced in internationally recognized conventions, the task of identifying human rights violations is made easier. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

International Planned Parenthood Federation, Fact Sheet: Unsafe Abortion Around the World, (2000)

This fact sheet, produced by Planned Parenthood, presents statistics about unsafe abortions around the world and succinctly discusses such issues as why women choose abortion, factors that determine the safety of abortion, complications resulting from unsafe abortions, and how to prevent unsafe abortions. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Fleischman, Janet, Fatal Vulnerabilities: Reducing the Acute Risk of HIV/AIDS among Women and Girls, [2003] Center for Strategic and International Studies

This article attempts to demonstrate and analyze the rapidly rising numbers of women and girls with HIV/AIDS in African nations. It sets out different steps that can be taken to ensure the protection of young women and girls from the disease, particularly the role the US might play in slowing down or halting the epidemic. The author focuses on sexual violence as a means of spreading the disease, and the lack of economic independence that frequently leads to commercial sex, in which the women and girls are ill-equipped to negotiate for condom use. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International - Africa]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Center for Reproductive Rights, Female Genital Mutilation: A Matter of Human Rights: An Advocates Guide to Action, (2d ed. 2006)

This resource is a guide for advocates working to stop FGM, intended to assist with engaging governments by holding them accountable under international human rights law. Characterizing FGM as a violation of the human rights of women and girls has significant consequences for both NGOs and governments. A multi-strategy approach receptive to the efforts of NGOs and international organizations must be guided by respect for the human rights of girls and women, and will promote social participation and economic empowerment as critical practices in establishing accountability for human rights violations. Regional coordination is essential in advancing policies to eliminate FGM, as is the adequate monitoring of national progress.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Amnesty International, From Promises to Delivery: Putting Human Rights at the Heart of the Millennium Development Goals (2010),

This report focusing on the Millennium Development Goals features sections on womens human rights and indigenous women. The report notes that women account for 70 percent of people living in poverty, due in part to lack of sexual and reproductive health services. The report notes that indigenous women experience increased discrimination in some countries where they experience significantly higher rates of violence and less access to police protection and the justice system, and that there is often a disparity in health maternal risks between indigenous and non-indigenous women. The report draws attention to the states failure to protect human rights defenders and the detrimental effect that failure has on womens rights in general. Among its recommendations, the report suggests that states fulfill their obligations under international human rights law by identifying and addressing gender discrimination within their institutional frameworks.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Center for Reproductive Rights, From Risk to Rights: Realizing States' Obligations to Prevent and Address Maternal Mortality, (2014)

This report begins by outlining the causes of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity including the "three delays model" (delay in deciding to seek health care, and in reaching and waiting at the health care centre) and social and economic factors. It then summarizes international human rights obligations that intersect with the right to safe pregnancy and childbirth, including resolutions passed by the UN Human Rights Council and obligations under the Millennium Development Goals. The report next gives a broad overview of regional efforts to improve maternal health, and showcases Eritrea, Nepal, Romania and Uruguay as countries that have taken significant steps to address preventable maternal mortality and morbidity. Finally, it explores a number of strategies that have been effective in holding member states accountable to their international obligations, such as collecting information on the impact of inadequate maternal health care, engaging national human rights institutions, citizen monitoring, and national litigation. The report provides recommendations to further realize the right to safe pregnancy and childbirth including seeking substantive equality for women, participation of women in creating national health strategies, and providing government accountability at the national, regional and international level.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Tallis, Vicci, , Gender and AIDS: Overview Report, BRIDGE (Institute of Development Studies), September 2002

This report discusses the importance of incorporating a gendered human rights framework when addressing HIV/AIDS issues. The author points to some of the key causes and impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic (social, economic, political, and demographic). The author also notes that current approaches to HIV/AIDS fail to take gender differences into account and to empower women. The report concludes by listing several recommendations aimed at transforming unequal gender relations through a mainstreamed, coordinated approach to gender and HIV, highlighting the need for collective action and destigmatisation. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Whelan, Daniel, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Geneva98: Law, Ethics and Human Rights, 4(2/3) CANADIAN HIV/AIDS POLICY & LAW NEWSLETTER, 78-117 (1999).

This special edition newsletter reproduces nine of the presentations made at the 12th World AIDS Conference in Geneva (1998). The presentations discuss legal, ethical and human rights issues related to HIV/AIDS. Several of the presentations discuss the need for a human rights framework in order to understand the underlying causes of women's vulnerability to contracting HIV/AIDS. Other presentations call for a more assertive activist community, and express dismay at the reduction of funds for prevention and care programs. Finally, some presentations focus on specific case studies. The newsletter also includes a selection of abstracts that were presented at the Conference. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Human Rights Watch, Global Report on Women's Human Rights , (1995)

"This report is a compilation of investigations by Human Rights Watch from 1990 to 1995 on women's human rights violations. It is based on the work of many staff members and consultants of the Women's Rights Project and the regional divisions of Human Rights Watch, who researched and wrote the initial reports from which the case studies in this volume are adapted". Chapter 7 of the report deals with reproductive and sexual rights in general. In addition, Chapter 7 contains a discussion and analysis of forced virginity exams in Turkey, as well as abortion law in Ireland and Poland. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Jürgens, Ralf , HIV Testing and Confidentiality: Final Report (section on Testing of Pregnant Women), (1998)

After a medical discussion of HIV testing of pregnant women and an assessment of testing policies in different provinces, this section of the report focuses on whether pregnancy affects a woman's right to consent to and refuse medical treatment. The author presents five arguments against mandatory testing: (1) it would likely be found unconstitutional; (2) voluntary programs have shown to be effective; (3) voluntary programs establish trust between physicians and patients that is key to women's compliance with their doctors' recommendations; (4) mandatory testing will increase distrust of the public health care system by women in communities disproportionately affected by HIV; and (5) mandatory testing disrespects women by treating them as a means to an end. The author also emphasizes the provision of counselling, to make women aware of the risks and benefits of testing and to enable them to make informed decisions. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Prentice, Tracey, Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal Women, Children and Families: A Position Statement, CANADIAN ABORIGINAL AIDS NETWORK 1-11 (2004)

The author of this position paper argues for better provision of HIV/AIDS services for Aboriginal women in Canada. She begins with a statistical report of the number of Aboriginal women who are HIV positive. She then discusses various factors that exacerbate Aboriginal women's vulnerability to HIV infection including poor socioeconomic conditions, sexual and physical violence, low self-esteem, high levels of injection drug use, and low levels of HIV testing and treatment. Additionally, the author argues that Aboriginal women are stigmatized and discriminated against by their communities when they disclose their HIV positive status. She describes the barriers that Aboriginal women prisoners with HIV face, including poor access to information, services and support. She concludes with a discussion on the lack of research in this field. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
De Bruyn, Maria, Tamayo, Giulia, Christie, Evan, International Human Rights Standards, Reproductive Health and Abortion, (Ipas, January 2001)

This document presents a comprehensive overview of international human rights standards that are relevant to abortion and how they can be used as advocacy tools. Part I introduces the sources of international human rights standards and suggests ways that non-governmental organizations can promote state compliance with these standards. Part II focuses on sexual and reproductive rights, reviewing human rights standards that can be applied to abortion-related care. Part III presents case studies demonstrating how international standards can be applied to concrete cases. The appendices provide lists of international human rights standards that are important for reproductive health and the status of ratifications of these treaties. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]

Human Rights Watch, Policy Paralysis: A Call for Action on HIV/AIDS-Related Human Rights Abuses Against Women and Girls in Africa, 2003

This report identifies the protection of women and girls as the key to addressing the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. The report notes the persistent negative impact of customary law upon women, particularly in the areas of domestic violence and property ownership and finds that legal and judicial remedies for women in these situations are insufficient. The report contains recommendations for policy responses to the gender-based human rights abuses which are linked to AIDS. The conclusion of the report states that African governments and donors must consider the protection of women and girls as a central element of the fight against AIDS.

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Elliot, Richard, Jürgens, Ralf , Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Rapid HIV Screening at the Point of Care: Legal and Ethical Questions, (2000)

This report discusses whether rapid HIV screening tests should be used by health care professionals. The authors maintain that rapid testing on pregnant women who are unaware of their HIV status at the time of labour, should be delayed until there is further research. They argue that while rapid testing would allow mothers to take preventative measures to reduce mother to child transmission during birth, it also raises concerns of higher chances of false positives, inadequate counselling, screening without the mother's consent, and lower protection of confidentiality. The authors highlight concerns that women's rights may be neglected in the rush to prevent transmission, especially when being in labour may complicate informed consent and women may be pressured into testing. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Amnesty International, Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Rights: A Human Rights Framework , (2012)

This report by Amnesty International discusses the implementation of the United Nations' 20-Year Programme of Action, adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, with a focus on sexual and reproductive rights. The Programme of Action acknowledged for the first time that effective population and development policy is only possible through women's empowerment and equality. The report examines the challenges of nationally implementing the Programme of Action, highlighting the discrimination and barriers to sexual and reproductive health services women face. It also addresses gaps in the Programme of Action, including the need to recognize sexual rights as fundamental human rights. Finally, the report recommends that sexual and reproductive health strategies should be aimed at ending discrimination, should ensure participation of women, should protect sexual and reproductive rights as human rights, and should improve participation and accountability of member states.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Reproductive Rights 2000 Moving Forward, (2000)

This comprehensive report examines the status of women's reproductive rights since the 1995 Beijing Conference, focusing particularly on eight critical areas: 1) population, reproductive health and family planning; 2) contraception, including emergency contraception; 3) abortion; 4) HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; 5) harmful traditional practices affecting reproductive health, including female circumcision and female genital mutilation; 6) rape and other sexual violence; 7) marriage and family law; and 8) reproductive rights of adolescents. In its introduction, the report presents a brief history of reproductive rights in the international arena. In covering each of the eight critical areas, the report presents numerous examples of diverse policies adopted by various countries and subsequently offers recommendations for policy reforms. It concludes by noting that elements of coercion, discrimination, and violence are frequently faced by women in the context of reproductive rights violations; emphasizing the inter-dependent nature of reproductive rights and other human rights; and attributing the trend of increased recognition of women's reproductive rights since the Beijing Conference primarily to the efforts of women's rights advocates. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Central and Eastern European Harm Reduction Network, Sex Work, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe, (2005)

This report is based on a study of organizations that work with sex workers in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It begins by analyzing the sex work industry and providing background information on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) trends. The next section focuses on the impact of international human rights treaties, the different regulatory approaches that various countries have taken to sex work and to the human rights of sex workers. After an overview of existing services for sex workers in the region, the report ends with recommendations. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International - Europe]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Center for Reproductive Rights, Shadow Reports on Reproductive Rights, (from 1997 onwards)

The Center for Reproductive Rights has produced or co-produced many shadow reports for international human rights treaty monitoring bodies such as the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (which monitors the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) and the Human Rights Committee (which monitors the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). These reports are intended to "supplement or shadow" the reports of national governments when treaty monitoring bodies review government compliance with treaty obligations. Shadow reports are available for a number of different countries. They focus on various fundamental reproductive rights issues and highlight specific provisions of CEDAW. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Canadian AIDS Society, Testing of Pregnant Women with HIV , POSITION PAPER (November 1998)

In this position paper, the Canadian AIDS Society argues that HIV testing should be offered to all pregnant women rather than only to women who are perceived to be at risk for HIV; selective testing should be avoided because it is overly reliant on the treatment provider and may reinforce stereotypes. The need to provide pregnant women with information about pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and alternative treatments is also emphasized. The paper then provides an overview of the situation of HIV testing, as of 1998, across provinces and territories, and raises related concerns such as toxicity, standards of care, alternative treatments and prevention. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Center for Reproductive Rights, The Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa: An Instrument for Advancing Reproductive and Sexual Rights, February 2006

This document examines the innovations of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, a protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. The document addresses how the Protocol advances the rights of African women, specifically focusing on the issues of reproductive health and autonomy. The Protocol is described as a successful attempt at remedying the African Charters shortfall in addressing womens rights, by enunciating various rights already included in other international documents, while also including previously unrecognized rights. The previously unrecognized rights include, for example, a right to HIV/AIDS protection, to sexual education, and to freedom from genital mutilation. The document also describes how the Protocol seeks to protect the equal rights of women in marriage and protection of women from violence and discrimination in both the public and private spheres. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights, International - Africa]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Center for Reproductive Rights, The Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa: An Instrument for Advancing Reproductive and Sexual Rights , (Feb. 2006)

This briefing paper outlines the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, which was ratified by 15 African governments in 2005. The protocol calls for broad protection for womens human rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights. Concrete suggestions are offered for womens health and rights advocates within and beyond Africa. Detailed information is also provided to help African women use the protocol to exercise their reproductive rights, as well as suggestions for governments to implement the protocols landmark provisions. The paper can also serve as a resource for advocates outside Africa who are seeking to establish similar guarantees. The topics covered by the protocol include reproductive health services, abortion, HIV/AIDS, sexual education, violence against women, and rights within marriage.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Inter-Agency Group for Safe Motherhood, The Safe Motherhood Action Agenda: Priorities for the Next Decade , (1997)

This document is the report of the Safe Motherhood Technical Consultation, which was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 18 to 23 October 1997, with participants from 65 countries. The document begins by briefly describing the Safe Motherhood Initiative, which marked its 10th anniversary in 1997. The document then presents programmatic lessons learned over the past decade with regard to the following ten "action messages": 1) advance safe motherhood through human rights; 2) empower women, ensure choices; 3) safe motherhood is a vital social and economic investment; 4) delay marriage and first birth; 5) every pregnancy faces risks; 6) ensure skilled attendance at delivery; 7) improve access to maternal health services; 8) prevent unwanted pregnancy and address unsafe abortion; 9) measure progress; and 10) the power of partnership. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Strickland, Richard S , To Have or To Hold: Women's Property and Inheritance Rights in the Context of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, International Center for Research on Women: Working Paper (2004)

This paper focuses on the links between women's property rights and HIV/AIDS. It begins with a discussion of the broad social impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and describes the links between property rights and HIV/AIDS. The author discusses how women may be able to better mitigate the effects of the virus if their property rights were protected. The second section examines the specific barriers preventing women from securing their property rights. The report highlights certain examples of best practices in women accessing their property rights and addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The conclusion includes a discussion of the role of litigation and legal services in assisting women. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International - Africa]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Albertyn, Cathi, Using Rights and the Law to Reduce Women's Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS: A Discussion Paper, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and the AIDS Law Project South Africa (2000)

This paper explores the extent to which the AIDS epidemic is linked to social and economic inequalities and proposes that national and international response strategies be founded on considerations of these inequalities. The paper aims to outline specific rights-based strategies designed to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS upon women. Section II of the paper examines the specific nature of women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Section III considers the role of international human rights in providing a framework through which to address the particular needs of women. The remainder of the paper reviews case law from South Africa to demonstrate areas of potential advancement within the national and international advocacy efforts. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
World Health Organization, Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS: Critical Intersections: Sexual Violence in Conflict Settings and the Risk of HIV, 2 INFORMATION BULLETIN SERIES, 1-2 (2004).

This bulletin addresses how conflict situations increase the risk of sexual violence and vulnerability to HIV for women and girls: women in conflict have usually fled their homes, lost their families and livelihoods, and have little or no access to health care. The bulletin discusses how these factors allow for situations where abusive sexual relationships are more accepted, and where sex is viewed as an easy service to obtain. The bulletin notes that programs to mitigate gendered violence and to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in conflict situations are difficult to operate due to the lack of rule of law, police, judicial system and health care services. However, it concludes by emphasizing the urgent need for such programs. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Violence Against Women, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
de Bruyn, Theodore, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Women , HIV/AIDS AND DISCRIMINATION: A DISCUSSION PAPER (1998)

This section of the online discussion paper "HIV/AIDS and Discrimination" introduces the subject of Canadian women and discrimination against them associated with HIV/AIDS. It discusses women's vulnerability to HIV infection, focusing on gender inequalities and violence against women. With respect to HIV testing and counselling, the author notes that women face difficulty as they are not viewed as a high-risk category, they are often discriminated against by race or ethnic origin, and physicians tend to restrict testing to pregnant women. Barriers to prevention and care for lesbian women are also discussed. The author ends by highlighting the psychosocial and socioeconomic needs of women with HIV/AIDS; specifically, the gender imbalances between men and women in terms of social stigma, financial need and access to treatment. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Women of the World: Law and Policies Affecting Their Reproductive Lives: Anglophone Africa, (New York: Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, 1997)

This report details the factual content of national laws and policies in key areas of reproductive health and women's empowerment in seven Anglophone African nations: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. For each country, the report covers laws enacted by legislatures, legal principles developed by courts, and relevant policies issued by government entities such as ministries, administrative agencies, and official councils or commissions. International sources of law in each country are also discussed. The report concludes with an analysis of the status of the laws affecting reproductive health rights, a discussion of regional trends, and a description of regional models of laws and policies that promote reproductive rights. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Amnesty International, Women, HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, (2004)

This paper provides a human rights analysis of gender-specific factors that make women vulnerable to contracting HIV/AIDS and influence the consequences of contracting the virus. It analyzes social and human rights factors such as gender-based violence, traditional practices, violence against women in conflict, lack of economic independence, sex work, and injected drug use. Intersecting discriminatory categories such as ethnicity, sexual orientation and age are also discussed. The last section of the paper reviews prevention and treatment strategies and advocates a multi-pronged approach which incorporates education, social empowerment, antiretroviral provision programs, prevention of gender-based violence and promotion of human rights. The paper ends with recommendations for governments. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Feldt, Gloria, Youth Quake: The Need for Informed Choice , (Planned Parenthood Federation of America)

This report seeks to provide information about sex and reproductive rights to young people. It states "as we begin the new millennium, one billion global citizens will enter their prime reproductive years. They are the largest childbearing generation in history. The reproductive decisions that these adolescents make will have a profound impact n the health of our planet, the availability of global resources, and everyone's quality of life. In the best interest of all people and cultures, we need to give our youth access to the information and services they need to make responsible choices about sex and reproduction". [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Adolescents, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

International Conventions and Declarations

Cairo Programme of Action, United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, UN Doc. A/CONF.171/13 (1994)

The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in 1994 in Cairo, adopted a Programme of Action which emphasizes that advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and the elimination of all forms of violence against women are cornerstones of population and development-related programmes (principle 4). Governments were called upon to take full measures, including preventive action and rehabilitation of victims, to eliminate all forms of exploitation, abuse, harassment, and violence against women, adolescents and children. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

United Nations General Assembly, Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations, UN Doc A/C.3/67/L.21/Rev.1 (2012)

This is the first draft UN Resolution aimed at the practice of ending female genital mutilation (FGM), urging states to take measures, including legislative means to not only protect women and girls from FGM, but to end impunity for those who practice it. In addition to the development, implementation, support and financing of national legislative frameworks for the strategic elimination of FGM, the General Assembly calls for enhanced awareness-raising, so that key actors can better work to eliminate the attitudes that lead to this practice. The Assembly also calls upon states to support programmes that engage local community practitioners of FGM in community-based initiatives for the abandonment of the practice and the identification of alternative sources of livelihood for its practitioners. The Assembly calls upon the international community for the financial support, technical assistance, and implementation of targeted programs necessary to coordinate the elimination of FGM within a generation, and establishes February 6th as the International Day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation.

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
International Labour Organization, Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), No. 183

The International Labour Organization's (ILO) Maternity Protection Convention, was revised at the General Conference of the ILO in June 2000. The new text entered into force on February 2, 2002. The Convention applies to employed women and includes protections relating to the health of pregnant or breastfeeding women, maternity leave, benefits and non-discrimination in employment. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action , World Conference on Human Rights, U.N. Doc. A/CONF.157/24 (Part I) at 20 (1993)

Adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights held 1993, the Vienna Declaration states that "gender-based violence and all forms of sexual harassment and exploitation, including those resulting from cultural prejudice and international trafficking, are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person, and must be eliminated. This can be achieved by legal measures and through national action and international cooperation in such fields as economic and social development, education, safe maternity and health care, and social support" (paragraph 18). [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

National Legislation

Abortion Laws of the World , (no date)

This page of the Annual Review of Population Law web site links to the abortion laws of over 60 countries. The countries are listed alphabetically - users can simply click on the name of the country they are interested in to be linked to the full text of the relevant law. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Abortion, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]


Paxton, Susan, Welbourn, Alice, "Oh! This one is infected!": Women, HIV and Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region, PAPER PREPARED FOR THE UN OFFICER OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, 1-27 (2004).

This paper discusses the various forces that contribute to women's disproportionate vulnerability to HIV infection, including biological, economic, social, cultural and "programmatic" (structural) factors. Drawing from testimonials of HIV-positive women, the authors also document discriminatory attitudes and actions against women with HIV status. They argue that as HIV affects women disproportionately, there is a need for a gender-based response: "[programs] need to be designed to challenge and transform those cultural norms that are harmful, enhance women's participation in decision-making and remove the social and cultural barriers to women's improved health and dignity". The paper concludes with a list of recommendations. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, International]

View Article - [ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Carbert, Anne, Stanchieri, Julie, Cook, Rebecca, A Handbook for Advocacy in the African Human Rights System: Advancing Reproductive and Sexual Health Law, IPAS African Regional Office and Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2002)

This publication focuses on the use of the African regional human rights system to protect reproductive and sexual health rights. The introduction reviews the merits of using a human rights approach to these issues and discusses a number of specific reproductive and sexual health concerns facing African women. Part I establishes reproductive and sexual health rights within an African context. Part II provides the full text of key African human rights documents. Part III provides additional resources relevant for regional mechanisms, including resolutions from the African Commission on Human and People's Rights and documents from international bodies and conferences. Part IV contains an extensive annotated bibliography with listings specifically focused on both reproductive and sexual health rights in African and general human rights under international law. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International - Africa]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

DeFine, Michael Sullivan, A History of Governmentally Coerced Sterilization: The Plight of the Native American Woman, May 1, 1997, (University of Maine School of Law).

This article chronicles the specific human rights violation of coerced sterilization and its impact upon the First Nations. The author presents the history of coerced sterilization in North America, and connects this policy to arguments of genocide being perpetrated against Indigenous Peoples. The first part of this article focuses on the history of enforced sterilization against First Nations peoples, while the latter part of the article raises international law defences to halt this practice. The author argues that rather than representing a past problem, coerced sterilizations have in fact increased in recent years, despite international developments aimed at protecting Indigenous peoples' rights. [Descriptors: Indigenous Women, Reproductive Rights - Reproductive Freedom, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, Bringing Rights to Bear: An Analysis of the Work of UN Treaty Monitoring Bodies on Reproductive and Sexual Rights, Center for Reproductive Law and Policy and Faculty of Law, University of Toronto (2002)

This report reviews the establishment of human rights and sexual rights within the international legal system. The analysis focuses on the incorporation of reproductive and sexual health considerations by six United Nations human rights treaty-monitoring committees. The report considers two categories of reproductive rights: the right to reproductive health care and the right to reproductive self-determination. Chapter 2 reviews the treaty-monitoring system and outlines potential future advancements by the monitoring committees in supporting reproductive and sexual rights. The remaining chapters are divided into sub-sections relating to substantive reproductive and sexual rights. The review of each specific right contains an analysis of the general comments, recommendations and concluding observations of the six Committees. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Overview, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Gochnauer, Lois, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) or Female Genital Cutting (FGC): Individual Country Reports, Washington, United States Department of State (2002)

Individual country reports on FGM or FGC are used as factual background material by Immigration and Naturalization Service asylum adjudicators in the United States. They were developed and released by the Office of the Senior Coordinator for International Women's Issues, US Department of State, on June 1, 2001. This document includes reports for: Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt,Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, The, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Yemen. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - Female Genital Cutting, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]
[ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Neacsu, Dana, Gender Based Persecution as a Basis for Asylum: An Annotated Bibliography, unpublished- unique to Women's Human Rights Resources, March 2002

The author notes that asylum has been extended in United States law to include some gender-based treatment, such as female genital mutilation (FGM), viewed as a type of persecution. The author points out that despite references to international norms suggesting what constitutes a refugee and the criteria of a "well-founded fear of persecution," US law has not moved beyond FGM to view general gender-based persecution as a ground for asylum. The author suggests that even this basis for asylum arose when American society "found it so outrageous as to criminalize it domestically." This extensive bibliography is itself a collection of annotations of recent literature from American and English secondary sources concerning the direction of US legislation and asylum case-law. [Descriptors: Migration - Refugees and Immigration, International - North America]

View Article - [ HTML Format]
[ PDF Format requires pdf reader]
Clow, Barbara, HIV/AIDS on Rise for Canadian Women: Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support Programs and Policies do not Address Needs of Girls and Women, Network Magazine, Fall 2005 Volume 8, Number 1/2

The focus of this article is the increasing rate of HIV/AIDS infection amongst Canadian women. The author points to a number of factors that put women at greater risk for contracting HIV, including an increased physical susceptibility to infection as well as social or cultural factors that may limit a women's ability to choose safe sex practices. The author describes how Canadian women infected with HIV face a lower survival rate due a decreased likelihood of receiving proper diagnoses and inadequate access to healthcare, amongst other reasons. The author makes a call for more research on this issue and for more focus on the root causes of women's vulnerability, including poverty and discrimination. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights - HIV/AIDS, Canada]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Stanchieri, Julie, Merali, Isfahan, Cook, Rebecca J., The Application of Human Rights to Reproductive and Sexual Health: A Compilation of the Word of International Human Rights Treaty Bodies, 3rd Edition, Action Canada for Population and Development (2005)

This report is designed to assist government departments and agencies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in monitoring compliance with, and violations of, reproductive and sexual health rights. It is also designed to assist in the development of advocacy manuals, training programmes, and research. The report reviews six international human rights treaties relevant to the protection of reproductive and sexual health rights. Within the review of each treaty and convention, the report contains the full text of the instrument, general recommendations and comments by the treaty monitoring body, and relevant concluding observations by the monitoring committees. Information on concluding observations is organized in accordance with the specific country reports. [Descriptors: Reproductive Rights, International]

View Article - [ HTML Format]

Credits and History Privacy  Bora Laskin Law Library  U of T Faculty of Law