Friday, July 15, 2016

Intersectionality and multiple discrimination 7/16

30. Individuals belonging to particular groups may be disproportionately affected by intersectional discrimination in the context of sexual and reproductive health. As identified by the Committee, 26 groups such as, but not limited to, poor women, persons with disabilities, migrants, indigenous or other ethnic minorities, adolescents, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, and people living with HIV/AIDS are more likely to experience multiple discrimination. Trafficked and sexually exploited women, girls and boys are subject to violence, coercion and discrimination in their everyday lives, with their sexual and reproductive health at great risk. Also, women and girls living in conflict situations are disproportionately exposed to a high risk of violation of their rights, including through systematic rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy and forced sterilization.27 Measures to guarantee non-discrimination and substantive equality should be cognizant of and seek to overcome the often exacerbated impact that intersectional discrimination has on the realization of the right to sexual and reproductive health.

31. Laws, policies and programmes, including temporary special measures, are required to prevent and eliminate discrimination, stigmatization and negative stereotyping that hinder access to sexual and reproductive health. Prisoners, refugees, stateless persons, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants, given their additional vulnerability by condition of their detention or legal status, are also groups with specific needs that require the State to take particular steps to ensure their access to sexual and reproductive information, goods and health care. States must ensure that individuals are not subject to harassment for exercising their right to sexual and reproductive health. Eliminating systemic discrimination will also frequently require devoting greater resources to traditionally neglected groups28 and ensuring that anti-discrimination laws and policies are implemented in practice by officials and others.

32. States parties should take measures to fully protect persons working in the sex industry against all forms of violence, coercion and discrimination. They should ensure that such persons have access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health-care services.

26 Including groups that are discriminated against on the grounds of race and colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, including ethnicity, age, nationality, marital and family status, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity, intersex status, health status, place of residence, economic and social situation or other status, and those facing multiple forms of discrimination. See Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights general comment No. 20. 
27 See Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 1993 (A/CONF.157/23), para. 38; and Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 (A/CONF.177/20), para. 135. 
28 See Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights general comment No. 20, para. 39

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