Symposium on Violence, Health, and Sexual and Reproductive Rights

Start Date: 
Friday, June 19, 2015 - 08:00
End Date: 
Friday, June 19, 2015 - 02:00
Centro de Derechos Reproductivos

Hall of the Americas | Organization of American States

17th Street and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20006

The numerous forms of violence that are exercised against women pose an obstacle to their individual development, violate their rights and limit their freedoms. Violence against women blocks the full development of their capacities and autonomy, and limits their public, economic, social, and political participation.  From sexual violence to domestic violence, violence against women is linked to sexual and reproductive health and rights. For instance, an estimated 1.68 million women in the Americas are raped each year, but only eight countries in the region allow abortion in cases of rape and two have a total ban on emergency contraception.  In general, Latin American countries have some of the most restrictive reproductive health laws and policies in the world: from access to information to access to basic health services.

Building upon the Declaration on Violence against Women, Girls and Adolescents, and their Sexual and Reproductive Rights, adopted by the Committee of Experts of the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belem do Para Convention (MESECVI), this  symposium aims to position reproductive rights, particularly in the context of sexual violence and adolescent pregnancy, as a key priority among the region’s states. It will also be an opportunity for an in depth conversation on the relationship between violence against women and sexual and reproductive rights. During the event, the Centre for Reproductive Rights will disseminate the findings of its advocacy document, “Violence and Reproductive Rights in the Americas”.  


7:30-8:30             Breakfast and registration

8:30-9:00             Opening session

  • Alejandra Mora Mora, Minister of the Status of Women of Costa Rica and President of the CIM (TBC)
  • Karen Hanrahan, Chief Program Officer, Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)
  • Francisco Becerra Posada, Assistant Director, Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) (TBC)
  • Ambassador  Jean-Claude Nolla, Permanent Observer of France to OAS
  • Luis Almagro Lemes, OAS Secretary General (TBC)  

9:00-10:30           Panel 1: Violence and Reproductive Rights

  • Caroline Bettinger-López, Professor at University of Miami School of Law and founder of the school's Human Rights Clinic (TBC)
  • Regina Fonseca, Coordinator of the Sexual Rights and Reproductive Rights program of the Centro de Derecho de Mujeres (Honduras)
  • Diana González, Principal Expert of Uruguay to the Follow-up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI) 
  • Alessandra Guedes, Regional Advisor on Family Violence, PAHO/WHO (TBC)

 Moderator: Luz Patricia Mejía, Technical Secretary of the MESECVI

10:45 –  12:30    Panel 2: Public Health and Reproductive Rights

  • Dr. Leonel Briozzo MD, Professor Clínica Ginecotocológica A, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de la República (Uruguay)
  • Javier Vasquez, Advisor on Human Rights and Law, PAHO (TBC)
  • Ana Cristina González, Regional Expert on Health and Human Rights, Lead doctor, Global Doctors for Choice (Colombia)

Moderator: Mónica Arango, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, CRR 

12:30 –  2:00       Lunch

Working Group(s):