Use of human rights to meet the unmet need for family planning

Lancet. 2012 Jul 14;380(9837):172-80. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60732-6. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


In this report, we describe how human rights can help to shape laws, policies, programmes, and projects in relation to contraceptive information and services. Applying a human rights perspective and recognising the International Conference on Population and Development and Millennium Development Goal commitments to universal access to reproductive health including family planning, we support measurement of unmet need for family planning that encompasses more groups than has been the case until recently. We outline how human rights can be used to identify, reduce, and eliminate barriers to accessing contraception; the ways in which human rights can enhance laws and policies; and governments' legal obligations in relation to contraceptive information and services. We underline the crucial importance of accountability of states and identify some of the priorities for making family planning available that are mandated by human rights.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Contraceptive Agents / supply & distribution
  • Family Planning Policy
  • Family Planning Services / ethics
  • Family Planning Services / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Family Planning Services / supply & distribution*
  • Female
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Human Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Patient Participation
  • Reproductive Health Services / standards
  • Reproductive Health Services / supply & distribution
  • Women's Health Services / standards
  • Women's Health Services / supply & distribution
  • Women's Rights / ethics
  • Women's Rights / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult


  • Contraceptive Agents