ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Sep 25 2017

HRC36: General Debate Item 8
25 September 2017
 

Joint statement on behalf of Action Canada for Population and Development; Federation for Women and Family Planning; Center for Reproductive Rights; Ipas; ActionAid; Advocates for Youth; ARC International (Allied Rainbow Communities International); Asian Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW); Asociación Pro-Bienestar de la Familia Colombiana “Profamilia”; Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID); Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network; Catholics for Choice; Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL); Centre for Health and Social Justice; Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS); Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN); Ekta Resource Centre for Women; EngenderHealth; European Humanist Federation; European Women’s Lobby; European Youth Forum; Federatie van Nederlandse Verenigingen tot Integratie van Homoseksualiteit – COC Nederland; FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development Norway; Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer (FEIM); Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN); Girls To Mothers’ Initiative; Global Fund for Women; Global Justice Center; International Commission of Jurists; International Federation for Human Right Leagues (FIDH); The International HIV/AIDS Alliance; International Humanist and Ethical Union; International Lesbian and Gay Association; International Planned Parenthood Federation; International Planned Parenthood Federation South Asia Region Office; International Service for Human Rights; International Women’s Health Coalition; Italian Association for Women in Development (AIDOS); Manusher Jonno Foundation; Marie Stopes International; Médecins du Monde –  France; MenEngage Alliance; Oxfam; Pathfinder International; The Population Council; PROMSEX, Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos; Rutgers; Shalupe Foundation; Simavi; Social Charitable Center Women and Modern World; Sonke Gender Justice; Sukaar Welfare Organization Pakistan; Union Women Center; Womankind Worldwide; Women Enabled International; Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways; Women International Democratic Federation; Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights; Women’s Rights Center NGO Armenia; World YWCA; and Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.[i]

Mr. President,

It is my honour to deliver this statement on behalf of 285 organisations from around the world.

Through the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, States explicitly agreed to prioritize the human rights of women, including the eradication of gender-based discrimination and violence. However, many States have not yet made the important decision that women’s human rights deserve to be upheld and their lives are worth saving. The continued criminalization of abortion and restrictions on access to and provision of abortion and post-abortion care in many jurisdictions is stark evidence of this.

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Sep 22 2017

The 36th Human Rights Council adopted the Universal Periodic Review of Poland and its outcome report on human rights, including the realization (or rather non-realization) of sexual and reproductive rights. Poland received a total of 185 recommendations, of which supported 144 recommendations and noted 31. Additional clarifications were provided on 10 partially supported recommendations. 

The human rights record of Poland was examined by the 3rd time by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review on 9th May 2017.

Read the NGO statements by the Sexual Rights Initiative and by the Federation for Women and Family Planning

Sep 21 2017

European Union Pledges 500 Million Euros Towards Gender Equality Fund

This week the European Union and the United Nations kicked off a new, global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls – The Spotlight Initiative.

The Spotlight Initiative was announced at a high-level event at the United Nations, led by the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, and the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica.

The Initiative aims to place the elimination of violence against women at the center of efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The European Union is committing 500 million EUR in funding to the Spotlight Initiative.

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Sep 18 2017

Anti-rights activists in Russia gathered more than 900,000 signatures to petition President Vladimir Putin to pass a law criminalizing all abortions. The activists received support from the powerful head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. In Moscow, for the eighth year in a row, the campaign “For Life” hosted the “International Festival for Social Techniques to Protect Family Values,” which included anti-abortion groups from Spain, Serbia, Italy and Russia.   

Lastly, Human Rights Watch reports that Russian feminist activists were harassed by the police and Cossacks. Several activists travelling to a feminist gathering in the Black Sea region were intercepted by the police and arbitrarily detained. Several hours later they were released without charges, but asked to sign a document acknowledging that they were carrying out “extremist activity.” According to HRW, “Cossacks, who identify themselves as a separate ethnic group in Russia, are known to maintain militia groups.” They often harass activists from socially progressive organizations.

Source: Ipas 

Sep 12 2017

In support of the September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Sexual Rights Initiative, Center for Reproductive Rights and Ipas have developed a joint statement on abortion rights for delivery at the upcoming 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. The session runs from Sept. 11-29, 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, Sept. 25.

Being the first such joint statement at the Council, the focus is generally on human rights standards with regard to abortion. Future initiatives could go further, and develop different aspects of abortion rights. A couple of requirements that needed to be fulfilled include connecting the statement with the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and observing the 2-minute limit for the delivery of the statement.

We invite groups and organisations to sign on to the statement by Sept. 20:

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