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Who We Are

The Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI) is a coalition of national and regional organizations from all parts of the world with an office in Geneva that has been advocating for the advancement of human rights in relation to gender and sexuality at the UN Human Rights Council since 2006


Our Aims

The SRI aims to advance sexual rights as a particular set of rights and as a crosscutting issue within international law, specifically in the work of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The SRI combines feminist analysis with important advances in the recognition of human rights of women, all marginalized communities and young people.

In order to advance the dialogue and advocacy on sexual rights, we endeavour to bring together perspectives that in the past have co-existed but have not collaborated on sexual rights. The SRI is well-placed to carry out this work because it is the only group of advocates consistently present at the Human Rights Council seeking to advance a broad range of sexual rights from an intersectional and feminist perspective. As NGO participation at the Human Rights Council remains largely dominated by organizations based in the Global North, the SRI seeks to provide a more global point of view based on the experiences of SRI partner organizations.

The SRI further aims to create a political space for advocacy on sexual rights by adopting feminist principles, bridging Southern, Northern and Eastern perspectives and incorporating diverse views. We acknowledge that different kinds of power exist and are at play in all our interactions and strive to provide all partners with equal and genuine opportunities for decision-making, engagement and visibility.



What We Do

The SRI works in partnership with local, national and regional organizations and networks of sexual and reproductive health and rights activists to advocate for the inclusion of sexual rights dimensions in:

 

  • Human Rights Council resolutions, debates, panels and side-events
  • Special Procedures
  • Studies and reports prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Treaty monitoring bodies
  • Universal Periodic Review

 

 

Our Issues

The SRI is committed to the right of every person to sexual and reproductive health and well-being, bodily autonomy, and the right to have control over and to make free and informed decisions on all matters related to sexuality, reproduction and gender, free from violence and discrimination.

The SRI regularly engages on a wide variety of sexual rights issues including (but not limited to):

  • Bodily autonomy
  • Comprehensive rights-based sexuality education
  • Criminalization and other restrictions on safe abortion
  • Early and forced marriage
  • Gender based violence and discrimination
  • HIV/AIDS and human rights
  • Intersectional discrimination
  • Maternal mortality & morbidity
  • Patriarchal gender norms
  • Rights of sex workers
  • Sexual rights of adolescents and young people
  • Universal access to sexual and reproductive health information, education, supplies and services
  • Violence and discrimination based on the exercise of one’s sexuality including sex outside of marriage

Examples of our Achievements

  • Collaborated with hundreds of local and regional activists to consistently raise sexual rights at the Human Rights Council;
  • Integrally involved in the Human Rights Council’s decision to take up the issue of maternal mortality, which recognizes maternal mortality and morbidity as a human rights matter;
  • Over the first two Universal Periodic Review cycles, the SRI submitted 160 reports, all of them in association with local/national organizations or activists, and addressing a wide variety of sexual rights issues;
  • Developed innovative digital tools to enhance sexual rights advocacy including the Sexual Rights Law and Policy Database, UN Resources Tool and the Sexual Rights UPR database;
  • Successfully advocated for the first ever UN resolution references to comprehensive sexuality education, adultery, marital rape, prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender, intimate partner violence and many other substantive language gains related to sexual rights:
  • Worked to ensure that the Human Rights Council explicitly included sexual and reproductive health within in the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health;
  • In the Human Rights Council’s institution building phase, played a vital role to ensure governments paid attention to thematic protection gaps in the system of special procedures.

Trainings and Seminars

We offer a range of trainings and seminars to State officials, UN representatives and NGOs.



  • national sexual rights law and policy database

    Law and Policy Database

    The national sexual rights law and policy database is a one-stop-shop for sexual rights related Constitutions, laws and policies.

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  • UPR Toolkit

    UPR Toolkit

    This practical toolkit for sexual rights advocates is available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.

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  • UPR Database

    UPR Database

    The SRI's UPR Database includes all sexual rights recommendations and references and is now open access.

    Launch the database»

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    CREA

    CREA works to advance the rights of women and girls, and the sexual and reproductive freedoms of all people.

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