REVISED DOCUMENT 23rd Session of the Human Rights Council Item No. 3 Statement delivered by Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) and Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland Thank you Mr. President, I make this statement on behalf of Action Canada for Population and Development, Federation for Women and Family Planning, Poland and the Sexual Rights Initiative1. We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health focusing on access to medicines. The report lays down very well the international legal framework and determinants of access to medicines. We also welcome his recommendation which urges States to adopt and implement a national plan of action on medicines and ensure that the right-to-health framework for access to medicines is fully integrated in the plan of action. The Special Rapporteur has drawn attention to limited access to certain medicines, including contraceptives. UNFPA reports that more than 215 million women are without access to modern contraceptives and vital reproductive health services and information. As NGOs working in the field of reproductive and sexual rights and health and rights we would like to draw the Council’s attention to women and girls’ limited access to emergency contraception in many countries – an essential medicine that can save women and girls’ lives. We know of only fifty-three countries that include emergency contraceptives in their Essential Medicines list. We remind states that the recently concluded 46 th Commission on Population and Development resolution reaffirms the importance of full access to contraception. The agreed conclusions of the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women emphasize the critical importance of full access to Emergency Contraception for victims and survivors of sexual violence. The Special Rapporteur on Torture recognized the lack of access to reproductive health services as a violation of women’s human rights. We strongly urge states to pay particular attention to the causes of the lack of access to contraception, and its consequences, including resort to unsafe abortion, which results in over 47,000 deaths annually. We call upon states to improve policies and change discriminatory laws that impact women and girls disproportionately. In conclusion we urge States to recognize the critical need of full access to modern contraception, and renew the ICPD commitment to make available the full range of contraceptive methods, including Emergency Contraception. Ideology and moral judgment should not be allowed to interfere with a woman’s right to control her own fertility and obtain contraceptives. Thank you.
The Sexual Rights Initiative is a coalition of organizations comprising of Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD), Akahata, Coalition for African Lesbians, Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA), Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and Federation for Women and Family Planning (Federa).