Council of Europe recommendations to improve women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe

December 5, 2017.  The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, issued a set of recommendations addressed to States on how to better ensure women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Europe. Read the full report here.

The recommendations underscore that women’s sexual & reproductive rights are human rights, and that States have the duty to respect, protect and fulfil them. The recommendations to States include:

  • guaranteeing the affordability, availability and accessibility of modern contraception, including the removal of barriers that obstruct timely access to emergency contraception; and
  • ensuring that all survivors of sexual violence, including women in conflict zones or detention centres, victims of trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees, can access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including emergency contraception.

The report provides an overview of State’s human rights obligations in this field and examples of shortcomings that European states must address in particular as regards women’s rights to life, health, privacy, equality, non-discrimination, as well as their right to be free from torture and ill-treatment.

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