Sexual and Reproductive Rights

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The petition in this public interest litigation (PIL) case cited data from the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Maharashtra, regarding government practices regarding female sterilization, which lacked counseling or informed consent, lacked pre- and post-operative care, and included unhygienic and un-anesthetized operating conditions, sterilization of minors, coercion and cruelty.  The PIL requested the Court to direct the state governments to comply with the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Guidelines on Standards of Female Sterilization, enacted in October 1999 (“the Guidelines”).

This Resource Guide aims to improve the existing knowledge and understanding of activists and lawyers on international norms and standards, such as substantive equality, to support effective advocacy on women’s economic, social and cultural rights.

Developed thanks to the collective work of ESCR-Net Members

Born on 4 May 1987, LMR is a young woman living with her mother, VDA in Argentina. She has a mental impairment and has a mental age between 8 and 10 years old.. During a hospital visit she was found to be pregnant. Under section 82.6 of the Argentinean Criminal Code abortion is legal where the pregnancy is the result of the rape of a mentally impaired woman. LMR filed a police complaint and scheduled an abortion. Her abortion was prevented by an injunction against the hospital. LMR appealed unsuccessfully to the Civil Court.

The case was presented by the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) to the Constitutional Court in light of the non-enforcement of a previous decision that established guidelines against sexual harassment at the work place in India: Vishaka vs.

The Monitoring Tool, produced by member Center for Reproductive Rights, provides a means to monitor the implementation of specific State obligations in the field of reproductive rights.

The petition was presented by advocates of the Nepalese organization, Pro Public, to protect the international and constitutional rights of thousands of women employees working in cabin and dance restaurants and massage parlors. These businesses have spread throughout urban areas in Nepal over the last ten years with women compromising more than 80% of all employees.

The plaintiff filed an injunction aimed at guaranteeing the right of a 12 year-old girl to her mental health, among other rights. The girl became pregnant in early 2011 and started presenting symptoms of anxiety and depression, as diagnosed by different physicians, who recommended the interruption of her pregnancy.

On December 7, 2011, The Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN  released the report it has submitted to the United Nations (UN) titled "Human Rights in India: An Overview." Click here for more information and a copy of the report.

Alyne Pimentel, an Afro-Brazilian woman, died at 28 years old of complications resulting from her pregnancy, after a health center in Rio de Janeiro failed to provide for appropriate and timely access to emergency obstetric care. Pimentel's death could have been prevented, if the health center had correctly diagnosed and treated her for intrauterine fetal death. Pimentel's death is not an isolated case.

This case was brought on behalf of Shanti Devi, a women living in poverty from a Scheduled Caste, after she died as the result of being refused adequate maternal healthcare despite the fact that she qualified for the free services under existing state-sponsored schemes. In 2008, Shanti Devi was forced to carry a dead fetus in her womb for five days after being denied medical treatment at several hospitals because her husband was unable to show a valid ration card for medical services, despite being qualified for one as they lived below the poverty line.