IPPF Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Box 8


In 1995, the
International Planned Parenthood Federation and its 127 member associations approved a Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, based on international human rights instruments. A summary follows:

1.The right to life should be invoked to protect women whose lives are currently endangered by pregnancy.

2.The right to liberty and security of the person should be invoked to protect women currently at risk from genital mutilation, or subject to forced pregnancy, sterilization or abortion.

3.The right to equality and to be free from all forms of discrimination should be invoked to protect the right of all people, regardless of race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family position, age, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, to equal access to information, education and services related to development, and to sexual and reproductive health.

4.The right to privacy should be invoked to protect the right of all clients of sexual and reproductive health care information, education and services to a degree of privacy, and to confidentiality with regard to personal information given to service providers.

5.The right to freedom of thought should be invoked to protect the right of all persons to access to education and information related to their sexual and reproductive health free from restrictions on grounds of thought, conscience and religion.

6.The right to information and education should be invoked to protect the right of all persons to access to full information on the benefits, risks and effectiveness of all methods of fertility regulation, in order that any decisions they take on such matters are made with full, free and informed consent.

7.The right to choose whether or not to marry and to found and plan a family should be invoked to protect all persons against any marriage entered into without the full, free and informed consent of both partners.

8.The right to decide whether or when to have children should be invoked to protect the right of all persons to reproductive health care services which offer the widest possible range of safe, effective and acceptable methods of fertility regulation, and are accessible, affordable, acceptable and convenient to all users.

9.The right to health care and health protection should be invoked to protect the right of all persons to the highest possible quality of health care, and the right to be free from traditional practices which are harmful to health.

10.The right to the benefits of scientific progress should be invoked to protect the right of all persons to access to available reproductive health care technology which independent studies have shown to have an acceptable risk/benefit profile, and where to withhold such technology would have harmful effects on health and well-being.

11.The right to freedom of assembly and political participation should be invoked to protect the right to form an association which aims to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights.

12.The right to be free from torture and ill treatment should be invoked to protect children, women and men from all forms of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse.