Rights to sexual and reproductive health: the ICPD and the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women

Health Hum Rights. 2000;4(2):38-66.


This article examines women's rights to sexual and reproductive health as recognized by the ICPD and expressed in the Women's Convention and other international human rights documents. Rights relating to reproductive and sexual health include the rights to life, liberty, and the security of the person; to health care and information; and to nondiscrimination in the allocation of resources to health services and in their availability and accessibility. Of central importance are the rights to autonomy and privacy in making sexual and reproductive decisions, as well as the responsibility of health care providers to ensure informed consent and confidentiality in relation to health services. The article presents country examples from States parties' periodic reports under the Women's Convention that reflect systemic violations of the above rights in varied forms.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Freedom
  • Health Care Rationing
  • Health Services Accessibility / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Male
  • Prejudice*
  • Reproduction*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexuality*
  • Social Justice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Women's Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*