Right to sexual and reproductive health indivisible from other human rights – CESCR GC on the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health
GENEVA (8 March 2016) – The right to sexual and reproductive health is not only an integral part of the general right to health but fundamentally linked to the enjoyment of many other human rights, including the rights to education, work and equality, as well as the rights to life, privacy and freedom from torture, and individual autonomy, UN experts have said in an authoritative new legal commentary, the General Comment on the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Yet, the experts from the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) note, “the full enjoyment of the right to sexual and reproductive health remains a distant goal for millions of people, especially for women and girls, throughout the world.”
The commentary, adopted by CESCR’s 18 independent members, highlights the numerous legal, procedural, practical and social barriers people face in accessing sexual and reproductive health care and information, and the resulting human rights violations.
“For example, lack of emergency obstetric care services or denial of abortion often lead to maternal mortality and morbidity, which in turn constitutes a violation of the right to life or security, and in certain circumstances, can amount to torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” the experts say in their commentary.
The full General Comment from CESCR is available here: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G16/089/32/PDF/G1608932.pdf