International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights




Via Civil Society Section

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Day of General Discussion on "The Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health"

15 November 2010

On Monday 15 November 2010, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) convened a Day of General Discussion on the right to sexual and reproductive health. The right to sexual and reproductive health is understood as a component of the right to health under article 12 and the right of family to protection and assistance under article 10 (2) of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The four panels with speakers from NGOs, UN agencies, regional organizations, human rights treaty bodies and academics were as follows: 1) Concept of right to sexual and reproductive health; 2) Normative aspects; 3) Cross-cutting issues; and 4) Conclusions. They were chaired respectively by Luz Melo of UNFPA, Jane Connors and Craig Mokhiber of OHCHR, and Rocio Barahona-Riera of CESCR.


Representatives of States, UN Agencies, NGOs as well as individual experts participated in the Discussion Day.


As part of the preparatory work leading to the formulation of a general comment by CESCR on the right to sexual and reproductive health and, the Discussion Day provided an opportunity to exchange views and garner insights from practitioners and experts on the right with a view to foster a deeper understanding of the content and implications of articles 12 and 10 (2) of the Covenant.



Papers from panelits

Written contributions from participants

  1. Center for Reproductive Rights
  2. International Disability Alliance
  3. IPAS and IAW
  4. Irish Family Planning Association
  5. Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
  6. Women's Board
  7. Sexual Rights Initiative and the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights
  8. Center for Economic and Social Rights
  9. European Disability Forum
  10. Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
  11. International Federation for Family Development
  12. Amnesty International
  13. Human Rights Watch
  14. Mr. Abramson
  15. Human Rights Law Resource Centre

Background documents received

  1. J. Burggraf - Varón y Mujer: ¿Naturalez o Cultura?
  2. B. Blanco – Educar en la Sexualidad en una Sociedad Plural
  3. González-Varaz Ibáñez - Aspectos ético-jurídicos de la regulación del aborto en España
  4. C. González Marsal – Sexualidad y aborto, ¿cuestión de salud?, cuestión de derechos?
  5. Foro Español de la Familia – El sentido de la sexualidad
  6. J. de Irala & M. A. Martínez-González – Métodos anticonceptivos vs. planificación familiar natural
  7. OMAEP - Education Prénatale: Les Racines des Comportements s’Inscrivent et se Transmettent par l’ADN de la Conception à la Naissance
  8. European Committee of Social Rights - Sexual and Reproductive Health Topics in the European Social Charter