The WHO Human Reproduction Program has made public this week (June 15-19th, 2015) a new groundbreaking report titled Sexual Health, Human Rights and Law. The document results from of extensive research and consultation globally over a period of seven years. It establish conceptual references to guide the application of human rights and the the law to sexual health in relation to barriers to sexual services, information on sexual health and violence. In doing so it addresses restrictions and challenges experienced persons because their age, as in the case of adolescents, or marital status, but also because of their their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, intersex status or because their engagement with commercial sex work.
The report recognizes that laws are important because “they set the rules of society and can provide the framework for the implementation of sexual-health-related policies, programmes and services” and by there provide parameters for human rights realization. On the other hand, the text also underlines that legal frames can also create limitations to the attainment of sexual health. This implies that laws must be harmonized with with human rights standards to “foster the promotion of sexual health across and within various populations, while the negative impact of laws that are in contradiction with human rights standards has been increasingly documented. ” (Page 2).