United Nations

The United Nations (UN) is an inter-governmental organisation made-up of 193 Member States that is committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

UN Experts Gravely Concerned with Sex-Ed in Ontario

The United Nations is calling on Canada to uphold young people’s right to quality sex-ed in Ontario. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is thrilled that our plea to the UN has been met with support.

Immediately after the Ontario government announced its plan to cancel the 2015 health curriculum and revert back to the outdated 1998 curriculum, Action Canada, in collaboration with The 519 and SHORE Centre, submitted an urgent appeal to the UN’s  Special Procedures to draw attention to the human rights violations occurring as a result.

On 19 December 2018, Canada received an official communication endorsed by UN human rights experts[1] demanding Canada take immediate steps to ensure compliance with human rights obligations.

The message to Canada is clear: federal and provincial governments have an obligation to ensure all young people are provided with sexuality education and failure to ensure access to sexuality education is a violation of human rights.

The communication from the UN Special Procedures demands that Canada explain and account for the serious breach of human rights that occurred when the government of Ontario chose to regress to the 1998 sex-ed curriculum, which excludes lessons on LGBTQ+ identities and sexualities, consent, media literacy, gender equality, inclusivity of persons with disabilities, and take interim measures to prevent the re-occurrence of human rights violations.

The Government of Canada must now take two immediate actions: (1) “ensure that all individuals and groups have access to comprehensive, non-discriminatory, evidence-based, scientifically accurate and age appropriate information on all aspects of sexual and reproductive health, including gender equality, sexual and gender-based violence, and the issue of consent” and (2) ensure all jurisdictions comply with international human rights obligations.

The communication also asked for accountability regarding any threatened consequences for teachers reported for teaching the 2015 curriculum. Educators have the obligation and the right to teach the best possible curriculum to their students and must not be punished for upholding the standards of their profession. The communication further establishes the role of the federal government in ensuring provincial jurisdictions comply with human rights violation obligations.

Action Canada along with our allies demand that Canada engage in immediate dialogue with the Government of Ontario to ensure the human rights of children and youth in accordance with international human rights treaties as well as the Canadian Charter and the Ontario Human Rights Code. The denial of rights to non-discrimination, health and education is unacceptable.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must engage with Ontario Premier Doug Ford in an effort to immediately reinstate the 2015 sex-ed curriculum.

Scientifically accurate, evidence-based, non-discriminatory, age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education is the internationally recognized right of all young people. It is essential for their sexual and reproductive health and it works to end gender-based discrimination and violence, including homophobia and transphobia.

The federal government, as signatory to international human rights law, is responsible for realizing human rights, particularly for marginalized people that include queer and trans youth.

[1] Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights; the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities; the Special Rapporteur on the right to education; the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity; and the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice

Canada receives recommendations from UN Committee on Torture

What is the UN Convention Against Torture?

Countries are periodically reviewed on their efforts to meet obligations under core international human rights treaties. In November 2018, it was Canada’s turn to appear before the UN Committee on Torture (CAT).

The CAT is made up of 10 independent experts that monitor implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishments. Countries party to the Convention (like Canada) are obligated to submit reports to and undergo periodic reviews by the Committee, outlining steps taken to implement rights in the Convention.

Action Canada’s engagement with the Committee Against Torture

In preparation for Canada’s review, Action Canada submitted a joint report to the Committee in partnership with the Sexual Rights Initiative to bring their attention to two interconnected violations of human rights in Canada:

  • Involuntary sterilizations of women, especially Indigenous women and women with disabilities
  • Lack of access to quality Comprehensive Sexuality Education to prevent other human rights violations

The report lays out clear evidence demonstrating Canada’s failure to take measures to address these issues despite having the responsibility and authority to do so.

Everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, which interconnects the full range of sexual and reproductive rights. The right to bodily autonomy includes the right to decide on treatments like contraception and sterilization, and it also includes the right to have comprehensive sexuality education to make informed decisions and to prevent discrimination-based violence. Action Canada is deeply concerned with the lack of federal leadership towards addressing these human rights violations. It is unacceptable that Canada uses jurisdictional challenges as an excuse not to ensure all people in Canada, particularly Indigenous women, women with disabilities and young people have their rights to health, non-discrimination, to be free from violence and education upheld.

Canada’s appearance before the Committee Against Torture

Prior to Canada’s review, committee members met to hear from civil society, including Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, and other stakeholders on a range of issues.

During the review, Canada was questioned by Committee members on the forced sterilization of Indigenous women, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the broader discrimination Indigenous women and girls face, access to health care for women in prisons and on Canada’s interpretation of “acquiescence” within the definition of torture.

You can watch videos of Canada’s review here and here.

Recommendations from the Committee Against Torture to Canada

Following the review, the Committee released a set of Concluding Observations, which included specific actions on the issues of forced sterilization of Indigenous women, and gender-based violence. Here are the recommendations made to Canada.

On forced sterilization:

  • Ensure that all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization are impartially investigated, that the persons responsible are held accountable and that adequate redress is provided to the victims;
  • Adopt legislative and policy measures to prevent and criminalize the forced or coerced involuntary sterilization of women, particularly by clearly defining the requirements of free, prior and informed consent with regard to sterilization and by raising awareness among Indigenous women and medical personnel of that requirement.

On gender-based violence:

  • Ensure that all cases of gender-based violence, in particular against Indigenous women and girls, and especially those involving actions or omissions by State authorities or other entities that engage the international responsibility of the State party under the Convention, are thoroughly investigated, that the alleged perpetrators are prosecuted and, if convicted, are punished appropriately and that the victims or their families receive redress, including adequate compensation;
  • Establish a mechanism for the independent review of all cases in which there are allegations of inadequate or partial police investigations, as recommended by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women;
  • Provide mandatory training on the prosecution of gender-based violence to all justice officials and law enforcement personnel and continue awareness-raising campaigns on all forms of violence against women, especially Indigenous women and girls;
  • Ensure that survivors of gender based-violence are able to access shelters and receive the necessary medical care, psychological support and legal assistance they require;
  • Consider acceding to the International Convention on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances; and
  • Compile statistical data, disaggregated by the age and ethnicity or nationality of the victim, on the number of complaints, investigations, prosecutions, convictions and sentences recorded in cases of gender-based violence.

In an rare occurrence, the Committee requested that Canada provide information on the implementation of recommendations related to forced sterilization in 1 year from now, rather than waiting until the end of Canada’s next review period (in 5-6 years).

What Action Canada is doing to hold the government accountable

Returning to Canada, Action Canada will now work with all levels of government to call for immediate action towards the implementation of recommendations. Specific actions include engaging in collaborative advocacy with the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Amnesty International Canada and other stakeholders to convene a cross-sectoral dialogue with relevant federal Ministers to address the issue of forced sterilization. Action Canada will also engage health sector stakeholders, including provincial and territorial regulatory bodies towards the development of informed consent policies and guidelines grounded in human rights principles.

Action Canada will continue to work with relevant decision makers, at all levels of government, and other stakeholders to hold Canada accountable to its obligations under international human rights law. As part of our work, Action Canada will continue to call on the federal government to strengthen its compliance with human rights mechanisms by improving its monitoring and reporting to human rights bodies.

[Press Release] Sterilizing Indigenous Women without Consent is Torture, says UN Committee

(OTTAWA, ON, December 7, 2018) – In a report released today, the United Nations Committee Against Torture officially recognized that sterilizing Indigenous women without consent is a form of torture, and called on Canada to “ensure that all allegations of forced or coerced sterilization are impartially investigated, that the persons responsible are held accountable and that adequate redress is provided to the victims.”

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), Amnesty International Canada, and Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights strongly support the recommendations of the UN Committee Against Torture, and call on Canada to:

  • Thoroughly investigate all allegations of forced or coerced sterilizations of Indigenous women in Canada;
  • Establish policies and accountability mechanisms across Canada that provide clear guidance on how to ensure sterilizations are only performed with free, full, and informed consent; and
  • Provide access to justice for survivors and their families.

“Canada’s legacy of colonialism and genocide have led to discrimination against Indigenous women in Canada’s public healthcare system,” said Francyne Joe, President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada. “Sterilizing an Indigenous woman without her free, prior, and informed consent is invasive, medically unnecessary, and a serious violation of her right to life, liberty, and security of the person.”

In October 2017, a class action lawsuit was proposed in Saskatchewan representing more than 60 Indigenous women who say they were sterilized without their consent. Most women reported being sterilized in the last 10-15 years, and as recently as 2017. Since then, women in other provinces have reported they too were sterilized without consent in recent years. How widespread this practice is across Canada is unknown.

“Today’s report from the UN affirmed that sterilizing women without consent is intentional, committed by state officials, causes serious harm, and is rooted in discrimination,” said Jackie Hansen, Gender Rights Campaigner with Amnesty International Canada. “This is the very definition of torture, one of the most egregious human rights violations, and it must be stopped now.”

As a State Party to the UN Convention Against Torture, Canada’s record on preventing and addressing torture and other forms of ill-treatment is periodically reviewed by the UN Committee Against Torture. Canada’s most recent review took place last month in Geneva and the report issued today outlines the Committee’s recommendations stemming from this review. The Committee also called on Canada to adopt laws and policies to prevent and criminalize sterilization without consent, and to clearly define “the requirements of free, prior and informed consent with regard to sterilization and by raising awareness among Indigenous women and medical personnel of that requirement.”

Notably, the Committee has signaled that this deeply troubling human rights concern is of such urgency that Canada has been asked to provide an interim progress report back one year from now, rather than waiting for the next review in five or six years. This means that the Committee has put forced or coerced sterilization high on the list of issues that need to immediately be addressed when it comes to preventing and addressing torture and ill-treatment in Canada.  Governments across Canada must do the same.

“All levels of government and healthcare agencies have a role to play in ending sterilizations without consent. The federal government is a signatory to international human rights treaties and therefore, as duty bearer, needs to exert leadership to end reproductive violence,” said Sarah Kennell, Director of Government Relations at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights. “The federal government must engage provinces in ensuring this does not happen again, in investigating when it does and stopping human rights violations like these across Canada.”

“Too many Indigenous women have experienced trauma, shame, and stigma because they have been permanently sterilized without their consent,” said Francyne Joe. “We have the right to make decisions about our health and our bodies. We have the right to give birth in hospitals without fear. And we need immediate action from the federal government to defend these rights.”

Background information

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

  • Lucy Juneau, Director of Communications, Native Women’s Association of Canada, 613-722-3033, Mobile 343-997-3756, [email protected]
  • Lucy Scholey, Media Officer, Amnesty International Canada, 613-744-7667 ext. 236, [email protected]
  • Ani Colekessian, Director of Communications, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, 613-241-4474 ext. 7, [email protected]

Statement on Canada’s Review at the UN’s Committee Against Torture

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is in Geneva this week to participate in Canada’s review before the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT).

The committee is made up of 10 independent experts that monitor implementation of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishments. Countries party to the Convention (like Canada) are obligated to submit reports to and undergo periodic reviews by the Committee, outlining steps taken to implement rights in the Convention.

In preparation for Canada’s review, Action Canada submitted a joint report to the Committee in partnership with the Sexual Rights Initiative to bring their attention to two interconnected violations of human rights in Canada:

  • Involuntary sterilizations of women, especially Indigenous women and women with disabilities
  • Lack of access to quality Comprehensive Sexuality Education to prevent other human rights violations

Everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, which interconnects the full range of sexual and reproductive rights. The right to bodily autonomy includes the right to decide on treatments like contraception and sterilization, and it also includes the right to have comprehensive sexuality education to make informed decisions and to prevent discrimination-based violence. Action Canada is deeply concerned with the lack of federal leadership towards addressing these human rights violations. It is unacceptable that Canada uses jurisdictional challenges as an excuse to ensure all people in Canada, particularly Indigenous women, women with disabilities and young people have their rights to health, non-discrimination, to be free from violence and education upheld.

In Geneva for the review, Action Canada will engage Committee members towards securing Concluding Observations on the issues raised in the report during Canada’s review. Following Canada’s review this week (link to UN web TV to steam live webcast), the Committee will release a set of Concluding Observations to Canada. Once released, Action Canada will work hard to ensure action is taken by the Government, towards better compliance with human rights obligations.

Alternative Report on Canada’s review before the Committee Against Torture

Canada is being reviewed before the UN’s Committee Against Torture.

We prepared a report in partnership with Sexual Rights Initiative highlighting violations of human rights related to involuntary sterilizations of women in Canada and the lack of access to comprehensive sexuality education. 20181015 FINAL DRAFT CAT shadow report Canada

Download the PDF

[Media Advisory] Right to health: UN expert to visit Canada

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights is pleased to be facilitating engagement with civil society organizations from across the country with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health during his visit to Canada.

We will be highlighting issues related to comprehensive sexuality education as part of the right to health, discrepancies in access to safe abortion care, forced sterilizations, and cost coverage for sexual and reproductive health drugs and commodities.

Read the Media Advisory below:

Right to health: UN expert to visit Canada

OTTAWA/GENEVA (1 November 2018) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health will visit Canada from 5 to 16 November 2018.

Dainius Pūras has been invited by the Government to look at moves to achieve the right to physical and mental health, including progress made and challenges remaining.

“I look forward to engaging with the Canadian authorities, civil society and other stakeholders to assess the enjoyment of the right to health, including availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of healthcare,” he said.

Pūras, an independent expert, will also examine factors that affect the right to health, including poverty, discrimination, and social exclusion.  “I am particularly interested in issues related to access to primary healthcare; mental health; sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as the right to health of children, adolescents and indigenous peoples,” he said.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a news conference at the end of his visit

  *   When: November 16th, 13:00pm, 2018

  *   Where: Charles Lynch press room, 130-S, Centre Block

Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.

Pūras will only engage with the media at the end of his visit, after he has gathered all information for a global preliminary assessment. He will present a comprehensive report to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2019.

ENDS

The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to help States, and others, promote and protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health (right to health). Dainius Pūras (Lithuania) is a medical doctor with notable expertise on mental health and child health; he took up his functions as UN Special Rapporteur on 1 August 2014. Dainius Pūras is the Director of Human rights monitoring institute in Vilnius Lithuania, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry and public mental health at Vilnius University and teaches at the faculties of medicine and philosophy of the same university. 

Learn more.

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

For press inquiries and additional information, please contact:

Lucía de la Sierra (+ 41 79 444 3940/ [email protected])

In Geneva (during the visit): Marina Narvaez Guarnieri (+41 22 917 9615 / [email protected])

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts, please contact: Mr. Jeremy Laurence, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / [email protected])      

Tag and share – Twitter: @UNHumanRights and Facebook: unitednationshumanrights

Check the Universal Human Rights Index

This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.

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

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • 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 http://ipciconference.org/pages/speakers/ 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:

Press Advisory: 150+ International Parliamentarians Meeting in Ottawa about Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Over 150 parliamentarians from around the world will meet in Ottawa on October 22-23, 2018 for the International Parliamentarians Conference of the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI).

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.

Leaders from around the world who are at the frontlines of defending laws and policies on sexual and reproductive rights in their countries and globally will meet to discuss protecting these rights within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with topics that include ending maternal mortality, ensuring increasing access to contraception, ending harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation.

October 22-23, 2018
National Arts Centre
1 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON
www.ipciconference.org

The Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development is among the high-level decision-makers and expert speakers who also include:

  • Dr. Natalia Kanam, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, MP, Chair of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (Canada)
  • Cong. Huilca Indira Flores, prominent Peruvian congresswoman feminist and LGBTI activist (Peru)
  • Hon. Ulrika Karlsson, MP, President of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (Sweden)
  • Rhobi Samwelly, Manager of a safe house for girls escaping female genital mutilation in Tanzania (Tanzania)

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Ani Colekessian
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
[email protected]
613-241-4474 ext.7

Ruairi Talbot
European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development
[email protected]
0032(0)487358081

Lindsay Campbell
Office of the Honourable Hedy Fry
[email protected]
613-793-5392

NOTE TO EDITORS

Visit http://ipciconference.org/pages/speakers/ for a full list of speakers and additional conference information

Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, MP and Chair of the CAPPD are available for interviews. International Parliamentarians well versed on reproductive rights will also be available for interviews. Full list available upon request.

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.

                                                                       

ACTION CANADA FOR SEXUAL HEALTH & RIGHTS is a progressive, pro-choice charitable organization committed to advancing and upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights in Canada and globally.

THE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF PARLIAMENTARIANS ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (CAPPD) provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on population, sexual and reproductive health, human rights and development issues.

THE INTER-AMERICAN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (IAPG)is a regional alliance of parliamentarians working across party lines to advance and promote laws and policies within the framework of a broad human development agenda, which includes health, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and women’s empowerment.

THE UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA) is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON POPULATION & DEVELOPMENT (EPF) is a network of members of parliaments from across Europe who are committed to protecting the sexual and reproductive health of the world’s most vulnerable people, both at home and overseas.

 

 

 

 

Canada shows support for global reproductive rights, launches UNFPA State of World Population Report 

Ottawa, October 17, 2018 – To realize each person’s ability to exercise reproductive choice, countries must provide universal access to quality reproductive health care (including contraceptives), ensure better access to comprehensive sex-ed that is inclusive, be champions of gender equality, and adopt a human rights-based approach to health-related policies and programmes. These are among the conclusions of the 2018 State of World Population Report published today by the UNFPA, the sexual and reproductive health agency of the United Nations.

This year’s State of World Population Report focuses on the power of choice when it comes to reproductive rights.

Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD), in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada, are pleased to host the Canadian launch of the report in Ottawa.

This launch signals Canada’s increasing role as a global leader on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the face of concerted attempts to roll-back previously won advances on these issues at regional, national, and global levels.

“The Government of Canada has truly stepped up its efforts when it comes to sexual and reproductive health and rights. We see this as part of a trajectory towards sustained political and financial leadership on the most stigmatized and neglected health and rights issues. Namely safe abortion care, comprehensive sex-ed, and young people’s sexual health,” says Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

The launch is taking place in the lead up to the International Parliamentarians Conference of the Implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action (IPCI), which was first hosted in Canada sixteen years ago. This conference will bring together more than 150 parliamentarians from around the world who champion sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The conference provides a strategic convening space for parliamentarians, who, as legislators, are critical in the fight to advance progressive laws and policies, eliminating discriminatory laws and policies, and advocating for increases to spending on critical sexual and reproductive health and rights issues – domestically and globally.

As part of Canada’s journey towards greater support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, the 2018 State of World Population Report and the IPCI Conference are opportunities to examine concepts of choice and reproductive rights domestically and globally.

“In Canada, realizing reproductive freedom requires equalizing access to abortion, including the abortion pill, cost-covered contraception, and quality sex-ed across all provinces and territories,” adds Prasad.

Action Canada is among the Canadian civil society organizations who are looking to Canada and all parliamentarians attending the upcoming conference to hold firm on their commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights and 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