Informed and independent decision-making about sexuality and reproductive health is central to the human rights, dignity, and social and financial empowerment of girls and other adolescents. Yet, one in four adolescents continue to have an unmet need for contraception and seven million girls give birth each year. The Center for Reproductive Rights works to ensure that adolescents can fully exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including their rights to make informed decisions and to access comprehensive health services.
As a result of the Center’s work, 1.69 million adolescents have gained stronger legal protections for their SRHR in the last 18 months alone.
In a case brought by the Center and its partner on behalf of six adolescent girls in Tanzania who were expelled for being pregnant, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) ruled that the practice of expelling pregnant students from school violated adolescent girls’ human rights. The decision will impact millions of adolescent girls across the continent.
And after years of advocacy by the Center and its national partners, the United Nations called on the Philippines to protect adolescents’ SRHR and decriminalize abortion. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recommended that the Philippines ensure access to safe abortion and post-abortion care for adolescent girls and adopt comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education at school.
In 2023, the Center and our partners will continue to advance legal protections for adolescents’ SRHR worldwide.
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