Sexual and reproductive health and rights




The right to health, including sexual and reproductive health, is protected internationally. Access to sexual and reproductive healthcare goods and services is a fundamental component of sexual and reproductive rights.

Under international human rights law and standards, European Union Member States should ensure access to safe and quality sexual and reproductive healthcare.

A range of United Nations (UN) treaties ban discrimination in general terms, effectively outlawing discrimination in sexual and reproductive health and rights. These rights include the right to health and the right to family planning, equal access to service, freedom from violence and the right to life. Specific international treaty protections exist to combat discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, disability but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

At European level, the Council of Europe protects sexual and reproductive health and rights through the European Convention on Human Rights and through the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention).


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