Sexuality Policy Watch

Sexual rights within the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review

By Angela Collet*

Since its creation in 2006, the Human Rights Council has been engaged in intense efforts to advance the notion of sexual rights and related issues through its Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI). The SRI coalition has been able to address sexual rights issues using diverse mechanisms and perspectives through its members and partners from NGOs internationally. Coalition members include Action Canada for Population and Development, CREA (India), INCRESE (Nigeria), Mulabi, Latin American Space for Sexualities and Rights (Argentina-Costa Rica-Mexico-Colombia) and associated partners, such as the Polish Federation of Women for Family Planning in addition to others.

One of the focuses of the SRI in 2008 has been to follow the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism created by the Human Rights Council to assess countries’ human rights situations every four years [see link to HRC UPR webpage].

The SRI closely followed the first two sessions of the UPR and produced two reports on how women’s and sexual rights issues were dealt with during the 1st and 2nd UPR Rounds. Links to the reports (PDF format) can be found below:

Women’s and Sexual Rights Issues during the 1st Round of the UPR, by Alejandra Sarda (Mulabi/SRI)

Women’s and Sexual Rights Issues during the 2nd Round of the UPR, by Alejandra Sarda (Mulabi/SRI)

Another document worth reading is the report from The Federation for Women and Family Planning (FWFP) on Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Poland (an associate partner of the SRI). The group submitted the report as a contribution to the Universal Periodic Review of Poland (April 2008 UPR session) and it is available at the HRC website.

The SRI launched a Call for Submissions for the 3rd round of the UPR to be held from December 7th to 15th, 2008. They prioritize the contribution of young activists, women and trans/intersex persons from the countries to be reviewed in the December session  (countries include Botswana; Bahamas; Burundi; Luxembourg; Barbados; Montenegro; United Arab Emirates; Israel; Liechtenstein; Serbia; Turkmenistan; Burkina Faso; Cape Verde; Colombia; Uzbekistan; Tuvalu).

For further information about the SRI, including the call for submissions related to future UPR sessions, contact:

Sunita Kujur (CREA/India) –

Alejandra Sardá (Mulabi/Argentina) –

Check it out!

The Sexual Rights Initiative is looking for organizations, researchers and/or activists interested in producing brief reports (5 pages) on pressing concerns in their countries with respect to Sexual Rights issues, including but not limited to — reproductive rights, sexual diversity, sexuality education, HIV/AIDS, etc. — to be submitted for the 5th round of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council. SRI will pay an honorarium of US$500 to the organization, activist and/or researcher. The Report can be written in English or French. For more information, contact Alejandra Sardá at .

*Angela Collet is a partner of SPW –  Abia Secretariat Team

:: Posted in 09/23/2008 ::

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