SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

OVERVIEW: Since the phrase “sexual and reproductive health and rights” (also known as SRHR) equals “sexual rights” plus “reproductive health rights,” it is one of the most controversial phrases used at the United Nations. This is because “sexual rights” encompasses many controversial concepts including alleged LGBT and prostitution rights. Also, “reproductive rights” is a term often used to advance abortion rights.

In UN negotiations, SRHR is promoted (but never accepted because it is so controversial) with various language formulations such as:

           “sexual and reproductive health rights”

“sexual and reproductive health and rights,” and

“rights relating to sexual and reproductive health”

If  the word “right” can be construed to modify SRH in any way, it is highly problematic. Sometimes the term “rights” is strategically distanced from but still modifies SRH. If so, the talking points below can be used to call for deletion of SRHR or the deletion of “rights” so the provision would then advance the sexual and reproductive health of individuals rather than promoting controversial rights. 

TALKING POINTS ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE
HEALTH AND RIGHTS

Questions to ask when negotiating SRH or SRHR provisions that apply to children, adolescents or youth: