- What are they?
- Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) – it encompasses the right of all individuals to make decisions about their sexual activity and reproduction free from any form of discrimination, coercion/force and violence.
- It seeks to achieve the highest attainable standard of sexual health and allows for access to sexual reproductive (SRH) services that permit individuals to choose whether, when and with whom to engage in sexual activity.
- SRHR caters for the choices of whether and when to have children and access to information as well as means to make these choices.
- Protecting and promoting the SRHR of all individuals empowers young people in communities.
- SRHR Elements
- Family Planning (family planning services, counselling, information and education)
- Prevention and management of abortion and its complications
- Prevention and management of Reproductive Tract Infections and Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Education and counselling on sexuality and sexual health
- Men’s Reproductive Health
- Adolescents and Youth Health
- Gender Based Violence
- SRHR and the law
SRHR is regulated and governed by a plethora of international, regional (Africa) and country specific legal instruments that are legally binding for signatory countries. International and regional instruments apply to member states who committed to such statutes. However, each country or state has a raft of legislations or lack thereof that speaks to SRHR. On this platform, International and Regional instruments are highlighted below.
- International Instruments
–Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)
–International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
–Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against women (1979)
–International Conference on Population and Development (1994)
- Regional Instruments
–African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (1981)
–African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990)
–The Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2006)
–The African Women’s Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (2003)
–Model Law on HIV in Southern Africa (2008)
–The Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children Already in Marriage (2016)
All these aforementioned legal instruments uphold human rights laws, standards and commitments as well as upholding adolescents and young people’s fundamental human rights to SRH.