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Sexual Reproductive Health/Human Rights

Course number: L8152

This seminar will examine the application of a human rights framework to issues of reproductive health and decision-making. The course will begin with the paradigm established at the landmark United Nations International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt in 1994. The Conference outcome document?the Cairo Programme of Action?was adopted by 179 governments and marked the first time that the international community explicitly recognized that reproductive health is a basic human right. The course will explore the legal foundation for recognizing reproductive rights in binding international and regional human rights treaties, the mechanisms available for holding governments accountable for rights violations, and recent efforts by human rights lawyers to obtain authoritative interpretations in individual cases. The course will also draw on national-level cases for comparison between various constitutional approaches and the human rights framework. Topics will include essential obstetrics care, contraception, coercive sterilization, family limits, abortion, assisted reproductive technologies, and sexuality education, as well as issues concerning access to information, rights relating to conscience and religion, and the special status of minors.