UN organizations call for an end to forced, coercive and involuntary sterilization
18 June 2014
The World Health Organization (WHO), along with OHCHR, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women, have issued a statement on “Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization”. It reaffirms that sterilization as a method of contraception and family planning should be available, accessible to all, of good quality and free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
Sterilization is one of the most widely used forms of contraception in the world and, when performed according to appropriate standards, is an important option for individuals and couples to control their fertility. However, in some countries, people belonging to certain population groups, including people living with HIV, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, and transgender and intersex persons, continue to be sterilized without their full, free and informed consent. While both men and women are subject to such practices, women and girls continue to be disproportionately impacted.
The inter-agency statement highlights guiding principles for the prevention and elimination of coercive sterilization, and provides recommendations for legal, policy and service-delivery actions to ensure that the provision of procedures resulting in sterilization is based on the full, free and informed decision-making of the person concerned.