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Plan International's policy position on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Overview

Plan International's policy position on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. 

All children, adolescents and young people have the right to make their own free and informed choices and to have control over their sexual and reproductive health and lives, free from coercion, violence, discrimination and abuse.

Girls and young women, in particular, are denied the ability to exercise these rights. Fulfilling the rights of all children, adolescents and young people is fundamental to achieving gender equality. 

Executive Summary

Executive summary

Plan International believes that all children, adolescents and young people have the right to make their own free and informed choices and to have control over their sexual and reproductive health and lives, free from coercion, violence, discrimination and abuse. Girls and young women, in particular, are denied the ability to exercise these rights. Fulfilling the rights of all children, adolescents and young people is fundamental to achieving gender equality.

However, gender inequality and discriminatory social norms mean that girls and young women often lack the voice, agency and autonomy to make their own decisions in relation to their sexual and reproductive health and are frequently denied access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services. This can leave them vulnerable and unable to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), as well as from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. It can also result in serious psychological harm.

Girls and young women are frequently subjected to serious human rights violations, including coerced sex, sexual violence and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child, early and forced marriage.

Our SRHR position

This paper supports the new Global Strategy, in which SRHR is identified as a priority, and our work in relation to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals – in particular, Goals 3 and 5. A number of high-level recommendations are included to guide advocacy, however, a more specific advocacy framework will be developed.

The analysis and positions are founded on human rights, global evidence and Plan International’s programmatic work, as well as a youth consultation with members of Plan International’s youth advisory panels at the global level and in four countries; Bangladesh, El Salvador, Togo and Uganda, as well as young people who have been part of Plan International’s programmes in these countries.