Our World at 7 Billion: Sexual Rights

Sexuality is a natural and precious aspect of life, a fundamental part of our humanity. For people to attain the highest standard of health, they must be feel confident and safe expressing their own sexual identity – and maintain sexual and reproductive autonomy. Discrimination, stigma, fear, and violence pose real threats to many people.

Sexuality is a natural and precious aspect of life, a fundamental part of our humanity. For people to attain the highest standard of health, they must be feel confident and safe expressing their own sexual identity – and maintain sexual and reproductive autonomy. Discrimination, stigma, fear, and violence pose real threats to many people. These threats and the actions they triggerranging from disheartening to life-threatening in natureprevent many people from attaining basic sexual rights and health services.

Sexual rights are a component of human rights. They are an evolving set of entitlements related to sexuality and health that contribute to the freedom, equality, and dignity of all people. We must be uncompromising and passionate in our efforts to decrease stigma and improve access to services – and to increase recognition of sexuality as a positive aspect of human life. Marginalized groups such as people living with HIV, young people, transgender people, sex workers, men having sex with men, child brides, girl mothers, and people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual have a strong need for our compassion and support.

IPPF/WHR's approach embodies the principles of universality and interrelatedness of all human rights, including sexual rights, and we work with our Member Associations to ensure that sexual rights are recognized and respected through service provision and advocacy. This work encompasses unique regional perspectives that represent a range of experience and assets. It enables members of the sexual and reproductive health and human rights communities to create change and build on the momentum that has already begun around sexual rights. 

Too often denied and too long neglected, sexual rights deserve our attention and priority. It is time to respect them. It is time to demand them.


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