Monday, July 11, 2016

Special topics of broad application of the right to sexual and reproductive health 5/16



Non-discrimination and equality
22. Article 2 (2) of the Covenant provides that all individuals and groups shall not be discriminated against and shall enjoy equal rights. All individuals and groups should be able to enjoy equal access to the same range, quality and standard of sexual and reproductive health facilities, information, goods and services, and to exercise their rights to sexual and reproductive health without experiencing any discrimination.

23. Non-discrimination, in the context of the right to sexual and reproductive health, also encompasses the right of all persons, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, to be fully respected for their sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status. Criminalization of sex between consenting adults of the same gender or the expression of one’s gender identity is a clear violation of human rights. Likewise, regulations requiring that lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex persons be treated as mental or psychiatric patients, or requiring that they be “cured” by so-called “treatment”, are a clear violation of their right to sexual and reproductive health. State parties also have an obligation to combat homophobia and transphobia, which lead to discrimination, including violation of the right to sexual and reproductive health.

24. Non-discrimination and equality require not only legal and formal equality but also substantive equality. Substantive equality requires that the distinct sexual and reproductive health needs of particular groups, as well as any barriers that particular groups may face, be addressed. The sexual and reproductive health needs of particular groups should be given tailored attention. For example, persons with disabilities should be able to enjoy not only the same range and quality of sexual and reproductive health services but also those services which they would need specifically because of their disabilities. 21 Further, reasonable accommodation must be made to enable persons with disabilities to fully access sexual and reproductive health services on an equal basis, such as physically accessible facilities, information in accessible formats and decision-making support, and States should ensure that care is provided in a respectful and dignified manner that does not exacerbate marginalization.

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