A new report, The Right to Contraceptive Information and Services for Women and Adolescents, launched 23 March 2011 by UNFPA and the Center for Reproductive Rights, examines the right to access contraceptive information and services for women and adolescents. It provides practical guidance for activists, scholars, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, governments and other actors working in the area of sexual and reproductive health to integrate human rights into programs and policies on contraceptive information and services.
Today more 215 million women around the world want to postpone their next pregnancy but are not using modern contraceptives, either because they don’t have access to them or because their families object. This unmet need for family planning results in millions of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths.
Women’s and adolescents’ right to contraceptive information and services is grounded in basic human rights. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development recognized “the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice.” Additionally, the Committee on the Rights of the Child has indicated that “States parties should provide adolescents with access to sexual and reproductive information, including on family planning and contraceptives, the dangers of early pregnancy, the prevention of HIV and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).”
The report assesses the benefits of access to contraceptives, lays out human rights standards and principles and provides an overview of how to apply a human rights-based approach to the provision of contraceptive information and services. Applying a human rights-based approach to the provision of contraceptive information and services can facilitate state fulfillment of these obligations and promote the full realization of women’s and adolescents’ fundamental rights.
The development of the report was supported by UNFPA, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the law firm White & Case.
DOWNLOAD the report here.