The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has adopted a resolution acknowledging the need for safe abortion care for women and girls living in humanitarian settings around the world. The resolution, “Preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights in humanitarian settings”—adopted by consensus on September 27, 2018—acknowledges that unsafe abortion violates “the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, including sexual and reproductive health” and says that sexual and reproductive health services are integral to the realization of that right.
The resolution also recognizes that women and girls living in humanitarian settings face barriers—including gender-based discrimination, fear of reprisal and stigma—to accessing sexual and reproductive health services and acknowledges that forced pregnancy is a human rights violation—the first time this has been acknowledged in a HRC resolution.
“In light of recent assaults against the HRC and other human rights bodies,” says Gillian Kane, Ipas senior policy and advocacy advisor, “we applaud the council for boldly continuing to advance the human rights of women and girls, especially as it relates to accessing reproductive health services. We are grateful to all our partner organizations for their work advocating for the inclusion of strong human rights language.”
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