Interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of health, A/66/254, 3 August 2011
III. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW AND THE RIGHT TO SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
9. Reproductive health rights also feature prominently in the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals, which affirm the rights of women to control all aspects of their health, to respect bodily autonomy and integrity and to decide freely in matters relating to their sexuality and reproduction, free of discrimination, coercion and violence. The Beijing Platform for Action states that States should consider removing punitive measures related to sexual and reproductive health. The relationship between improved sexual and reproductive health for women and poverty reduction is particularly emphasized.
IV. CRIMINAL LAWS AND OTHER LEGAL RESTRICTIONS AFFECTION THE RIGHT TO SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Impact of Criminal Laws and other Legal Restrictions affecting the Right to Sexual and Reproductive Health
4. Education and Information on Sexual and Reproductive Health
59. Laws restricting information about sexual and reproductive health and which censor discussions of homosexuality in the classroom fuel stigma and discrimination of vulnerable minorities. For example, laws and policies that promote abstinence only education reduce sexual education to images and stereotypes of heteronormativity, given their focus on procreation; some of these programmes even contain explicitly discriminatory content on gender and sexual orientation.
In certain instances, teachers have been suspended or threatened with lawsuits for engaging in discussions on “inappropriate” sexual matters with their students when discussing sexual and reproductive health issues in the classroom. In other cases, pursuant to abstinence-only and anti-obscenity policies, school districts, courts and legislators have prohibited civil society organizations from meeting in public schools. Such laws and policies perpetuate false and negative stereotypes concerning sexuality, alienate students of different sexual orientations and prevent students from making fully informed decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health.
Link to full text of the report: Report-SR Health-2011-eng