Global Policy

Action Canada works to ensure increasing action by governments, human rights bodies and other policy forums to advance sexual and reproductive rights issues.

Press Release: 150+ international parliamentarians in Ottawa to advance sexual and reproductive rights at IPCI Conference

Ottawa – Parliamentarians and development experts from around the world are meeting in Ottawa from October 22-23 for the International Parliamentarians Conference of the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI).

The IPCI Conference, which was first hosted in Canada sixteen years ago, will bring together more than 150 parliamentarians who champion sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development.

As secretariat to the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is the Canadian non-profit co-hosting this conference alongside the Government of Canada, the Inter-American Parliamentary Group on Population and Development, the United Nations Population Fund, and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development.

At a time of global backlash against women’s reproductive choices, the rights of LGBTQI people, and young people’s access to sex-ed, the IPCI conference provides an international space where parliamentarians can strategize ways to advance progressive laws and policies, eliminate discriminatory laws and policies, and advocate for increased funding toward sexual and reproductive health and rights issues – domestically and globally.

“More and more, we’re seeing Canada demonstrate increased support for global and domestic sexual and reproductive health and rights,” says Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. Adding that, “parliamentarians in Canada and internationally have a role to play in ensuring sustained political leadership on the most stigmatized and neglected health and rights issues, namely, safe abortion care, comprehensive and inclusive sex-ed, and young people’s sexual health.”

Canadian parliamentarians have been instrumental in safeguarding access to abortion, adding gender identity and expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, and advocating for human rights-based approaches in the development of new laws and policies domestically and internationally through Canada’s development assistance.

By the end of the two-day conference, participants will generate a forward-looking, action-oriented declaration that builds upon previous IPCI commitments and provides clear direction to further realize sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world.

Action Canada is among the Canadian civil society organizations who are looking to Canada and all parliamentarians attending the conference to hold firm on their commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights and to mobilize towards greater support for these issues as a community of champions.

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Media Contact
Ani Colekessian
[email protected]
613.241.4474 ext. 7


  • Sandeep Prasad is available for interview before, during and after the conference.
  • Parliamentarians from Canada and other countries will be available for interviews throughout the IPCI Conference. See attachment for complete list.
  • Press passes are available for reporters on the day-of and obtained at the registration desk.
  • Visit for a full list of speakers and additional conference information.
  • A reception will take place on October 22, 2018 from 5:30-8:30 at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building, hosted by the Canadian Association of Midwives, the UNFPA, and the CAPPD for attending parliamentarians, in collaboration with the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, the Hon. George Furey and the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, the Hon. Geoff Regan. Midwives from several countries will be on hand to demonstrate midwifery procedures and answer questions about their work. Reporters who wish to attend must RSVP by email to [email protected]
  • Parliamentarians from the following states will attend: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Liberia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Montserrat, Niger, Niger, Palestine, Peru, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Sudan, St. Kitts and Nevis, Surinam, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Netherlands, The Philippines, Togo, Uganda, United Kingdom.


October Update: Abortion, sex-ed, human rights

Information and updates on sexual and reproductive health and rights this month:

[Livestream] Abortion Rights Event at UN Human Rights Council!

In support of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, the Sexual Rights Initiative is organizing an event during the 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council.

Click here to download the invitation in PDF

The event will be held on September 13, 2018 from 1 PM to 2:30 PM at the Palais des Nations room XXV in Geneva and Livestreamed on the SRI Facebook page:

Panelists will highlight regional developments in abortion law and policy reform, shed light on regional commonalities and differences that have led to change, and illustrate the ways in which different stakeholders have used human rights law to develop innovative strategies to advance the right to access safe and legal abortion in their region. The event intends, through this exchange of practices and experiences, to inspire further action and collaboration among States, development partners, and civil society towards realizing abortion rights for all.

CART closed captioning and French and Spanish translation will be provided. 


Varyanne Sika, Coalition of African Lesbians, Kenya

Confirmed Speakers

Rakshya Paudyal, Beyond Beijing Committee, Nepal
Victoria Pedrido, Akahatá, Argentina
Krystyna Kacpura, Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland
Maeve Taylor, Irish Family Planning Association, Ireland


Sexual Rights Initiative
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
Beyond Beijing Committee
Coalition of African Lesbians
Center for Reproductive Rights
International Planned Parenthood Federation
Irish Family Planning Association
Federation for Women and Family Planning
Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition
Swedish Association for Sexuality Education – RFSU
Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Request for Sign-On: HRC39 Joint NGO statement on abortion rights

In support of the September 28 “Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion” Sexual Rights Initiative (which Action Canada is a part of), Center for Reproductive Rights, Ipas, the Asia-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, the Youth Coalition for Sexual Health and Rights and the Swedish Association for Sexuality and Education have developed a joint statement on abortion rights for delivery at the upcoming 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The focus of this year’s statement is on abortion right defenders (including service providers) and abortion stigma. This initiative builds on last year’s successful joint CSO statement to the Council when over 285 organizations signed on to the statement and we hope even more organizations across movements will voice their support this year!

The statement is available in English, Spanish, French and Russian:

The session runs from September 10th to 28th, and the most suitable Council agenda item for the statement would appear to be the general debate on the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, scheduled for Monday, September 24. A couple of requirements that need to be fulfilled include connecting the statement with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and observing the 1:30-minute limit for the delivery of the statement.

We invite groups and organisations to sign onto the statement by September 21:

  • If you have consultative status with ECOSOC and have a designated Geneva representative in the Indico system, please complete the attached form, email a signed copy to [email protected], cc or forward the email to [email protected] and we will add your name to the statement.
  • If your organization does not have consultative status with ECOSOC, please click here to fill out the sign in form:

Unfortunately, the UN will not accept endorsements by individuals. If you are not affiliated with an organization, you can show your support by helping to disseminate the statement far and wide.

[Ottawa Event] Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights: The Foundation for Gender Equality

A free public event presented by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) in partnership with Women Deliver and the Future Planning Initiative

Part of Women Deliver 2019 Mobilization Canada’s effort to engage Canadians and bring awareness about gender equality

The rights of girls and women to bodily autonomy and full sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are in the spotlight like never before. From the #MeToo movement, to the referendum on abortion in Ireland, to new political attention in Canada– girls and women around the world are demanding and making change.

With the announcement of the Feminist International Assistance Policy in June 2017 and subsequent SRHR funding announcements, Canada has committed to leading global action in support of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Domestically, Canada is also making progress, but challenges remain.

The international community is now looking to Canada as a leader in this area. But are we up to the challenge?

Join us for a dynamic evening to discuss and learn about the importance of putting sexual and reproductive health and rights at the centre of the gender equality agenda—to advance the health, rights, and well-being of women and girls in Canada and around the world.

Event Programme:

6:00 – 7:00 Reception: CSO fair, refreshments and networking

7:00 – 8:30 Introductions, panels and closing remarks

8:30 – 9:30 Reception: CSO fair, refreshments and networking

Light snacks will be served, and a cash bar will be available during both receptions.

The program will include two lively panels, featuring SRHR experts from Canada and abroad as well as Canadian political representatives:

  • Gabrielle Bouchard, President, Quebec Women’s Federation
  • Aminata Bintu Wurie, Executive Coordinator, Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
  • Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver

Moderator: Susan Ormiston, CBC Senior Correspondent

For more information, please visit the Public Event page on our website.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: #SRHRnow

Humanitarian experts laud Trudeau’s commitment to reproductive services abroad

Source: | iPolitics

Humanitarian groups are lauding the federal government’s commitment to initiatives abroad that focus on sexual reproductive health services — noting it as a marked change from the previous government that excluded those services.

“I just want to commend the government of Canada for their incredible leadership in keeping gender equity and sexual reproductive rights at the forefront of [its] feminist foreign policy and core part of all the humanitarian aid and support,” said Christina Wegs of CARE International and the lead on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Wegs was joined by Sandeep Prasad, the executive director of Action Canada for sexual health and rights, Muzna Dureid, a Syrian activist and women’s rights defender and Onyema Afulukwe, a senior counsel for Africa, global legal program and centre for reproductive rights, at a press conference on Parliament Hill Thursday morning.

The humanitarian experts said they met with International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau Thursday morning and held a panel discussion on marginalized women and girls reproductive health and rights.

While the groups are calling on the government to commit to a sexual and reproductive health and rights policy that includes new funding for women and girls in crisis — they largely celebrated the commitments that have been made so far and acknowledged that it’s quite a contrast from the previous Conservative government.

Click here to continue reading »

[Event] Empowering Women in Emergencies

Sexual and reproductive healthcare in emergencies saves lives – just like food, water and shelter. Activists, parliamentarians and humanitarian actors discuss best practices and remaining gaps for upholding the right to sexual and reproductive health information and services in humanitarian settings.

Annual Report 2016-2017

Whether it’s been campaigning for universal cost coverage of medical abortion, launching a cutting-edge resource for teaching sexuality education in schools, securing a major investment in global SRHR from the government Canada, offering thousands of people the health information they are looking for, or supporting sexual and reproductive rights defenders around the world to hold their governments accountable, we’ve been working tirelessly to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally.

Read our Annual Report to learn about the significant strides we made in 2016-2017 »

Having trouble reading the report? Click here to download in PDF

Country Responses to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Recommendations at the 28th UN Universal Periodic Review

The 28th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 6-17 November 2017. Fourteen countries were reviewed during UPR28: Argentina, Benin, Czechia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Zambia.

Click here for SRHR recommendations and country responses