Reproductive Rights, Substantive Equality and the Convention on the Rights of the Child: A briefing by the Center for Reproductive Rights

The Convention on the Rights of the Child strongly protects children’s right to access sexual and reproductive health services and their rights to substantive equality and nondiscrimination.  This fact sheet examines the mutually reinforcing relationship between the realization of these rights for girls: the stigma surrounding sexuality and the discrimination and inequalities that girls face can prevent them from accessing sexual and reproductive health services, and their inability to access such services can perpetuate cycles of inequality and discrimination. It further provides recommendations on how the Committee on the Rights of the Child could substantially strengthen its current human rights jurisprudence by explicitly recognizing the linkages between reproductive health and rights and the right to substantive equality and nondiscrimination, thereby providing children, particularly girls, with the distinct protections that they need for the realization of their human rights.