It is impossible to talk about sex education, sexual health and sexology without mentioning sexual and reproductive rights – which are part of Human Rights, according to the UN.
We could even say that the scientific and epistemological evidence regarding pleasure, sexual and reproductive health, progress on respect for autonomy and sexual individuality, among others, was reinforced thanks to the sexual and reproductive rights of the WAS.
What is WAS?
The WAS stands for the World Association for Sexual Health, which was founded in 1978 in Rome (Italy). Its main objective is to promote sexual health from a perspective based on sexological evidence.
Currently, more than 25 countries celebrate and share the purposes of this association; among them are: Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Japan, Italy, Austria, among others…
What are sexual and reproductive rights?
The declaration of sexual rights was proclaimed during the 13th World Congress of Sexology (1997) in Valencia, and since then they have been revised to guarantee sexual and reproductive rights for everyone.
These sexual and reproductive rights focus on guaranteeing the integrity of each person in relation to sexuality, sexual health and reproduction. So no matter where you are in the world, every single person in the world has access to sexual rights. Especially in health, legal and judicial aspects.
What are sexual and reproductive rights?
There are currently 16 sexual and reproductive rights that guarantee the integrity and full sexuality of all people:
The right to equality and non-discrimination.
Everyone has the right to enjoy the sexual rights of this declaration without distinction of any kind as to race, ethnicity, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, place of residence, economic position, birth , disability, age, nationality, marital and family status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, health status, social and economic situation or any other condition.
The right to life, liberty and personal security.
Every person has the right to life, liberty and security, these rights cannot be threatened, limited or arbitrarily withdrawn for reasons related to sexuality. These reasons include: sexual orientation, consensual sexual behaviors and practices, gender identity and expression, or for accessing or providing services related to sexual and reproductive health.
The right to autonomy and bodily integrity.
Every person has the right to freely control and decide on matters related to their body and sexuality. This includes choosing behaviors, practices, partners, and interpersonal relationships with due respect for the rights of others. Free and informed decision-making requires free and informed consent prior to any test, intervention, therapy, surgery or research related to sexuality.
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The right to a life free from torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
No one shall be subjected to torture, degrading, cruel and inhuman treatment or punishment related to sexuality, including: harmful traditional practices; forced sterilization, forced contraception or abortion; and other forms of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment committed for reasons related to the person’s sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and bodily diversity.
The right to a life free from all forms of violence and coercion.
Everyone has the right to a life free from violence and coercion related to sexuality, this includes: rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, bullying, sexual exploitation, slavery, trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, virginity tests, and violence committed because of real or perceived sexual practices, sexual orientation, identity, gender expression and bodily diversity.
The right to privacy.
Everyone has the right to privacy, related to sexuality, sexual life and choices regarding their own body, consensual sexual relations and practices without arbitrary interference or intrusion. This includes the right to control the disclosure of sexually related personal information to others.
The right to the highest attainable degree of health, including sexual health that includes pleasurable, satisfying and safe sexual experiences.
Everyone has the right to obtain the highest attainable degree of health and well-being in relation to their sexuality, which includes pleasurable, satisfying and safe sexual experiences. This requires quality, available, accessible and acceptable sexual health care services, as well as access to the conditions that influence and determine health, including sexual health.
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The right to enjoy scientific advances and the benefits that result from them.
Every person has the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications in relation to sexuality and sexual health.
The right to information.
Every person should have access to accurate and understandable information related to sexuality, health and sexual rights through different resources or sources. Such information must not be arbitrarily withheld or censored or intentionally manipulated.
The right to education and the right to comprehensive sexuality education.
Every person has the right to education and comprehensive sexuality education. Comprehensive sexuality education must be age-appropriate, scientifically correct, culturally competent, and based on human rights, gender equality, and a positive approach to sexuality and pleasure.
The right to contract, form or dissolve marriage and other similar forms of relationships based on equity and full and free consent.
Every person has the right to choose to marry or not to marry now, with free and full consent, to marry, maintain a relationship or have similar relationships. All persons have the same rights regarding marriage, during marriage and in case of dissolution of relations, without discrimination or exclusion of any kind. This right includes equal access to social assistance and other benefits, regardless of the form of said relationship.
The right to decide to have children, the number and spacing of them, and to have access to information and the means to achieve it.
Every person has the right to decide whether or not to have children and the number and spacing of them. To exercise this right, it is necessary to access the conditions that influence and determine health and well-being, including sexual and reproductive health services related to pregnancy, contraception, fertility, termination of pregnancy and adoption.
The right to freedom of thought, opinion and expression.
Every person has the right to freedom of thought, opinion and expression on sexuality and has the right to express their own sexuality through, for example, their appearance, communication and behavior with due respect for the rights of others.
The right to free association and peaceful assembly.
Every person has the right to peacefully organize, associate, meet, protest and defend their ideas regarding sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights.
The right to participate in public and political life.
Everyone has the right to an environment that allows for active, free, and meaningful participation in and contribution to civil, economic, social, cultural, political, and other aspects of human life at the local, national, regional, and international levels. In particular, all people have the right to participate in the development and implementation of policies that determine their well-being, including their sexuality and sexual health.
The right to access to justice and to retribution and compensation.
Every person has the right of access to justification, retribution and compensation for violations of their sexual rights. This requires effective, adequate, accessible and appropriate educational, legislative and judicial measures, among others. Compensation includes compensation through restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and the guarantee that the aggravating act will not be repeated.
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Author of the note: @ maria.jose.ca
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Let’s talk about sexual rights according to the WAS – Vibracions Blog
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