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Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Welcome to GFMER’s online resource for sexual and reproductive rights. Want to contribute? Join our think tank!

On this website you find:

  1. Introductions to major sexual and reproductive rights topics.
  2. Regularly updated summaries of national legislations for the major areas of sexual and reproductive health.
  3. Selected publications on (changes in) legislation and ethical issues in sexual and reproductive health.

“Sexual health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.”

WHO on sexual health

Why sexual and reproductive rights?

In order to achieve sexual and reproductive health, people need to know their sexual and reproductive rights. The Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER) therefore sees a close relationship between sexual and reproductive health on the one hand and the legal and political system on the other.

Legislation on sexual and reproductive health differs around the world and changes continuously. Add to this the complex relationship between legal and ethical issues and you understand that providing information about sexual and reproductive health legislation and its changes is very important.

But providing this information is no easy matter. Jurisprudence is the study and theory of the law. The law is the system of rules and guidelines enforced by different social institutions that govern a country or region. Ethics are the moral principles that shape the behavior of the people. There can be considerable differences between ethics, jurisprudence and the actual law.

With this website GFMER seeks to contribute to a meaningful inclusion of human rights in sexual and reproductive health issues. Since its establishment in 2002 GFMER has exchanged sexual reproductive health expertise with governmental and non-governmental organizations all over the world. GFMER has become a resource centre for training and research in human sexuality and reproduction, creating a vast network of health professionals in developing and developed countries. GFMER is supported by the Republic and Canton of Geneva and the City of Geneva and is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Education and Research in Human Reproduction.

We welcome contributions to the GFMER sexual and reproductive rights recourse. Want to contribute? Please contact the Sexual and Reproductive Rights Think Tank.

“Reproductive health addresses the reproductive processes, functions and system at all stages of life. Reproductive health, therefore, implies that people are able to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so...”

WHO on reproductive health