This week, the United Nations Commission on Population and Development holds its 45th session. The commission monitors and evaluates the implementation of the Programme of Action, a global agreement adopted by 179 governments nearly 20 years ago that explicitly recognized reproductive rights and their basis in established human rights.
This year’s focus is adolescents and youth and it comes at a crucial time. The Programme of Action affirmed the reproductive rights of adolescents and emphasized the need to safeguard and promote adolescents’ rights to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent as well as health education, information and care.
At this year’s session, the Center for Reproductive Rights will issue an oral statement urging the governments within the Commission to adopt a strong resolution on adolescents grounded in the reproductive rights set forth in the Programme of Action, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and other important human rights treaties. The resolution must emphasize government’s obligations to remove legal and policy barriers that compromise adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health services and establish and implement effective accountability mechanisms to guarantee that adolescents can exercise their reproductive rights.