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Sexual Health and Sexual Rights

  • Susana T. FriedEmail author
  • Andrea Espinoza-Kim
Reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)

Abstract

The agenda of sexual health and human rights has dramatically evolved and expanded since the early 1990s. The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 (ICPD) and the Platform for Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 (FWCW) manifested a new paradigm of sexual health and human rights. At these global meetings, and in response to many years of social movement advocacy, world leaders formally acknowledged sexual health and reproductive rights, as well as rights related to sexuality, as critical to the enjoyment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health and to gender equality. However, the form and content of “sexual rights” and their interaction with reproductive health and rights were left on the pending agenda. Similarly left to be elaborated was the difference in experiences of sexuality-related rights and violations of those rights by people facing forms of multiple and overlapping discrimination and marginalization. This elaboration has advanced through a dynamic and vexed dialogue between human rights, gender equality, LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex), and public health communities; among individuals and groups who are marginalized because of who they are, what they do, and/or where they are located structurally and geographically; between governments and constituents; and between countries in regional and global policy dialogues. This chapter explores crucial nodes in this discourse, describing and analyzing critical advances and persistent challenges. These nodes comprise issues at the intersection of sexual health and human rights such as abortion, contraception, disability, gender identity, HIV, same-sex conduct, and sex work. We expand on the current discourse focusing on three rights claims areas: challenging of criminalization of consensual sexual conduct and sexual and reproductive health, securing bodily integrity, and affirming positive sexuality. Finally, we highlight some critical ways to move forward.

Keywords

Sexual health Sexual rights Reproductive rights Human rights Public health Discrimination Marginalization 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Many of the ideas discussed in this submission reflect an ongoing conversation about criminalization of sexuality, sexual conduct, and sexual and reproductive health. The authors would like to acknowledge the particular contributions of Lucinda O’Hanlon, Alice Miller, Luisa Cabal, Tara Zivkovic, Ruben Brouwer, and Rachel Lipstein, as well as many others who have participated in the discussions and engaged in parts of the research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Health Justice PartnershipYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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