Global Advocacy

The Center for Reproductive Rights plays a leading role in establishing and promoting reproductive rights as human rights at the United Nations and other multilateral fora.


Governments around the world are guided and influenced by the standards established at the United Nations (UN). This includes the development and application of international human rights law, humanitarian law and global commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals. UN bodies play a key role in defining reproductive rights, which include the rights to life, health, non-discrimination, freedom from torture and ill treatment, and access to information, among others. The UN has declared that ending gender-based discrimination, reducing preventable maternal mortality and ensuring access to reproductive health care are goals all countries should meet by 2030.

The Center has played a key role in working with and supporting the UN agencies, treaty bodies, Human Rights Council and Security Council to clarify state responsibility and increase state accountability for reproductive rights. In turn, we work to ensure those standards are implemented at the national level and to hold states to account when they fail to do so.

Key Facts


All 193 countries in the world have ratified treaties that protect reproductive rights.


Reproductive rights apply in every country and every context, including crisis, conflict and disaster.


50 countries have liberalized their abortion laws over the last 25 years.

Work Highlights

Explore highlights of the Center’s global advocacy work.

Resolutions on maternal mortality and humanitarian situations. (Image courtesy of the United Nations.)

The Center leads a coalition to guide interpretation of Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The UN Human Rights Committee rules that Ireland’s abortion law violates international human rights law.


Up-to-date Human Rights Standards on Reproductive Rights card link

Up-to-date Human Rights Standards on Reproductive Rights

Titled “Breaking Ground,” this series summarizes the jurisprudence from United Nations treaty monitoring bodies (TMBs) on reproductive rights. Read more.

Briefing Paper: SRHR in Conflict card link

Briefing Paper: SRHR in Conflict

This paper analyzes legal standards and principles relevant to protecting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls affected by conflict. Read more.

Briefing Paper: Adolescent Capacity and Consent card link

Briefing Paper: Adolescent Capacity and Consent

A report discussing the barriers adolescents face in realizing their sexual and reproductive health and rights and proposals to guarantee the full exercise of those rights. Read more.

View All

Become a Champion in 2022!

Renew your support with a monthly gift by January 31.