Friday, July 29, 2016

International obligations of the right to sexual and reproductive health 14/16

 50. International cooperation and assistance are key elements of article 2 (1) of the Covenant and are crucial for the realization of the right to sexual and reproductive health. In compliance with article 2 (1), States that are not able to comply with their obligations and that cannot realize the right to sexual and reproductive health due to a lack of resources must seek international cooperation and assistance. States that are in a position to do so must respond to such requests in good faith and in accordance with the international commitment of contributing at a minimum 0.7 per cent of their gross national income for international cooperation and assistance.

51. States parties should ensure, in compliance with their Covenant obligations, that their bilateral, regional and international agreements dealing with intellectual property or trade and economic exchange do not impede access to medicines, diagnostics or related technologies required for prevention or treatment of HIV/AIDS or other diseases related to sexual and reproductive health. States should ensure that international agreements and domestic legislation incorporate to the fullest extent any safeguards and flexibilities therein that may be used to promote and ensure access to medicines and health care for all. States parties should review their international agreements, including on trade and investment, to ensure that they are consistent with the protection of the right to sexual and reproductive health, and should amend them as necessary.

 52. Donor States and international actors have an obligation to comply with human rights standards, which are also applicable to sexual and reproductive health. To this end, international assistance should not impose restrictions on information or services existing in donor States, draw trained reproductive health-care workers away from recipient countries or push recipient countries to adopt models of privatization. Also, donor States should not reinforce or condone legal, procedural, practical or social barriers to the full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive health that exist in the recipient countries.

53. Intergovernmental organizations, and in particular the United Nations and its specialized agencies, programmes and bodies, have a crucial role to play and contribution to make with regard to the universal realization of the right to sexual and reproductive health. The World Health Organization, UNFPA, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN–Women), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and other United Nations entities provide technical guidance and information, as well as capacity-building and strengthening. They should cooperate effectively with States parties, building on their respective expertise in relation to the implementation of the right to sexual and reproductive health at the national level, with due respect to their individual mandates, in collaboration with civil society.41

41See Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights general comment No. 14, paras. 63-65

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