World Population Day, 11 July - Family Planning is a Human Right

12 July, 2018

Read online: http://www.un.org/en/events/populationday/

Note: Our third K4Health-sponsored HIFA discussion on family planning starts on 30 July and will focus on the FP information needs of children and youth. More information to follow shortly. Please forward this to your networks and invite them to join:www.hifa.org/joinhifa

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World Population Day, which seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the then-Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989, an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.

2018 theme: “Family Planning is a Human Right”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right.

The conference’s outcome document, known as the Teheran Proclamation, stated unequivocally: “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”

Embedded in this legislative language was a game-changing realization: Women and girls have the right to avoid the exhaustion, depletion and danger of too many pregnancies, too close together. Men and women have the right to choose when and how often to embrace parenthood — if at all. Every individual has the human right to determine the direction and scope of his or her future in this fundamental way.

Nine standards to uphold the human right to family planning:

- Non-discrimination: Family planning information and services cannot be restricted on the basis of race, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, national origin, age, economic status, place of residence, disability status, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

- Available: Countries must ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.

- Accessible: Countries must ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.

- Acceptable: Contraceptive services and information must be provided in a dignified manner, respecting both modern medical ethics and the cultures of those being accommodated.

- Good quality: Family planning information must be clearly communicated and scientifically accurate.

- Informed decision-making: Every person must be empowered to make reproductive choices with full autonomy, free of pressure, coercion or misrepresentation.

- Privacy and confidentiality: All individuals must enjoy the right to privacy when seeking family planning information and services.

- Participation: Countries have an obligation to ensure the active and informed participation of individuals in decisions that affect them, including health issues.

- Accountability: Health systems, education systems, leaders and policymakers must be accountable to the people they serve in all efforts to realize the human right to family planning.

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Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator, HIFA Project on Family Planning

http://www.hifa.org/projects/family-planning

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org