News

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APA UPDATE #10 NOVEMBER 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and the first of 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence - a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. Read more in a new blog post here.

FROM THE MEMBERS

FP NZ: Voices from the Pacific

Family Planning New Zealand International Programmes contacted 7 organisations from across the Pacific region, and talked with them about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to find out what change they most wanted to see. Find out by watching the 'Voices from the Pacific' video here.

MSI Australia: Sharing the Story of Daw Kyi Lay

A new blog from Marie Stopes International (MSI) Australia, shares the story of Daw Kyi Lay, 62 from Myanmar (Burma) -  living proof of the benefits of family planning. Twenty seven years ago she had a single interaction with Marie Stopes International Myanmar that changed her life for the better. Read more here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

PNG: Systemic Failures in the Response to Domestic Violence

Women and girls in Papua New Guinea are enduring brutal attacks from their partners, as government officials neglect survivors’ needs for safety, services, and justice, according to Human Rights Watch in a new report. Read the report here.

Meeting: Big Data and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The Big Data and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development meeting will be held on 14 - 15 December 2015 at UN ESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting aims to develop a shared understanding on the challenges, opportunities and current state-of-play of Big Data for sustainable development policy; and identify creative-solutions and strategic directions for action using Big Data to support implementation, follow-up and review of the Agenda 2030. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

New Resource: What the SDGs Mean for CSOs Working on SRHR

This new paper published by IPPF aims to set out what the new ‪2030 Agenda‬ means for civil society organizations working on SRHR and how it can be used to push for progress at the national level. It details those targets that are relevant to our work, looks at how they relate to existing programmes and commitments and suggests ways to ensure that they are implemented. Read the paper here.

Global Cost of Gender-based Violence

When you think of gender-based violence, you may think of women abused in a refugee camp or conflict zone; you may think of a wife mistreated by her husband. However, gender-based violence seeps into all aspects of society, including the labor force—and it carries a high cost, according to a new blog post by Citizens for Global Solutions. Read more here.

WHO Chief Voices Concern over Impact of Trans Pacific Partnership on Vital Drug Prices

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has voiced concern over the impact the newly formed 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership will have on vital drug prices, as it could limit the availability of cheaper generic medicines in favour of patent holders. Read more here.

Women Deliver: Early-bird Deadline

The early bird deadline for registration to the 2016 Women Deliver conference is 31 January 2016. This 4th world conference takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark from 16-19 May 2016. Read more here.

APA UPDATE #09 SEPTEMBER 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

A Special Issue on Agenda 2030

APA is pleased to join civil society and other stakeholders in welcoming today the adoption of Agenda 2030 with 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development. We celebrate this momentous achievement that is the culmination of years of advocacy work, and which has resulted in 2 targets (3.7 and 5.6) addressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and reproductive rights (RR). As we move forward, APA believes that it is critical to put in place robust, transparent and participatory follow-up and review processes at national, regional and global levels. We all need to work together to hold key actors accountable for fulfilling their commitments, especially those linked to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality.

FROM THE MEMBERS

FP NZ: Seeking Participants for ‘Voices from the Pacific’ Video

Family Planning New Zealand (FP NZ) is seeking submissions for their ‘Voices from the Pacific’ video, to illustrate what we want the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve for SRHR. It aims to be a tool for organizations to advocate for increased prioritization of SRHR by governments and regional donors, and the initiative is part of the APA Advocacy Grants Program. The deadline for video submissions is 4 October. Read more here.

YC: Youth Statement on Agenda 2030

A statement released by Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YC) and partners emphasizes the integral role that youth will play in realizing the ambitious goals and objectives set out by this bold agenda. The statement stresses that of particular importance young people is the field of SRHR, and the need for an approach that protects, respects, and promotes young people’s human rights on all levels. Read more here.

PAI: How do Women Fare in Agenda 2030?

After the release of Agenda 2030, Population Action International (PAI) is asking how do women fare? This article explains that 2030 Agenda is divided into five sections, with SRH and RR mentioned in four of the five sections, and gender equality and the rights and empowerment of women and girls are mainstreamed throughout. Read the Blog here.

Pathfinder: US Government Officially Recognizes Sexual Rights

Sexual rights are one of the biggest gaps in Agenda 2030, which only recognizes SRH and RR. Pathfinder shares that the US Government has just acknowledged that it will recognize sexual rights in discussions on development and human rights, which is a step forward to ensuring that no one is left behind. Read more here.

FOCUS ON ASIA PACIFIC

Thailand: Second IEAG Meeting

The second meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators will be held on 26-28 October and hosted by the UNESCAP in Bangkok, organized by UN DESA's Statistics Division. Read more and find the draft Agenda here.

Thailand: Fifteenth APBF Meeting

The fifteenth Asia Pacific Business Forum (APBF), "Driving growth and Sustainability through Business" aims to identify the challenges and discover the most promising opportunities for enhancing regional business connectivity, investment and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular within the context of achieving inclusive, resilient and sustainable development in the region. Organized by ESCAP and partners, the APBF takes place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 2-3 November. Read more here

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES, AND RESOURCES

The Adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development

As world leaders gather in to adopt Agenda 2030 at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York on 25 September, you can watch the action live here. The full text of “Transforming our World: Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development” is available here, and more information about the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development is available here.

Health and Human Rights Journal: Series on SDGs, Human Rights and the Right to Health

A new series of blogs in the Health and Human Rights Journal is exploring what the SDGs might mean for health and human rights. Contributors have looked at whether the SDGs will enhance people’s right to health and how the pursuit of SDGs could advance human dignity and the right to health. Their responses are complementary and contrasting. They identify difficulties and opportunities. As health and human rights advocates and scholars, contributors have analyzed the issues and identified essential actions to operationalize human rights in the next stages, including the deliberation on indicators, prioritizing actions, planning, resourcing, implementation, follow-up and review. Access the series here.

Projecting Progress: Reaching the SDGs by 2030

This resource offers a first systematic attempt to project progress across the full SDG agenda, showing where – if current trends continue – the world will be in 15 years’ time. The findings serve as a wake-up call on just how much more effort will be needed to reach the new goals. Gathering together the best available projections, a ‘scorecard’ against 17 targets is provided, which shows that, without increased effort, none of the goals and examined targets will be met. The scorecard reveals how much faster progress will need to be, classing targets as needing ‘reform’, ‘revolution’ and ‘reversal’. Read more here.

Women’s Access to Safe Abortion in Agenda 2030

Advancing women’s access to safe and legal abortion is a priority for women’s reproductive health and rights, in accordance with the new Global Goals on Sustainable Development focused on health and gender equality. This new briefing paper by IPAS presents the Global Goals and targets whose achievement depends on safe and legal abortion and recommends minimum indicators for measuring global progress on abortion access. Read more here

APA UPDATE #08 August 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA Steering Committee Meeting

APA’s Steering Committee will be meeting in Bangkok from 9 -11 September to discuss the new strategic directions for the network.

APA at CS Meeting on the UPR process in Thailand

APA attended a Civil Society Capacity Building Training on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Process for Thailand’s 2nd Cycle UPR on 5 August at UN ESCAP. APA also facilitated the participation of representatives from key HIV affected women and girls networks.

APA at CS Consultation on SRHR and the SDGs in India

APA attended a ‘CSO Consultation on SRHR Related SDGs: The India Perspective’ organized by APA member Population Foundation of India and UNFPA, which took place in New Delhi on 23-24 July.

FROM THE MEMBERS

AFPPD: Consultation on draft Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention bill in Thailand

A consultation on the proposed draft Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Alleviation Bill in Thailand was held on 18 August, organized by the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, UNFPA Thailand, and the National Legislative Assembly. Over 40 participants including civil society gave input to improve the draft bill, which aims to respond to, and help curb the high incidence of teenage pregnancy in Thailand.

FP Australia: Sexual and Reproductive Health Course Trains Students in Papua New Guinea

13 students graduate from Family Planning Australia’s Post Basic Sexual and Reproductive Health course in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The course trains students in a wide range of services in the Morobe Province, and was created to respond to PNG’s need for increased SRH care. According to the PNG Department of Health’s 2014 National Sexual Reproductive Policy the state of this issue is not only poor, but declining in PNG.

PFI: Communication Intervention to Address Regressive Practices in India

To address regressive practices such as sex selection, early marriage, early and repeated pregnancies, under-nutrition of girls, domestic violence and gender inequality prevalent in the country, Population Foundation of India (PFI) developed a 360-degree communication intervention called Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon – I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything. The intervention has reached out to intended audiences through television, radio, mobile, social media and by NGO partners in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh provinces with encouraging results.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Second Meeting of the IEAG to take place in Bangkok

The second meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) is to be held on 26-28 October, hosted by UNESCAP in Bangkok and organized by UN DESA's Statistics Division. Read more and find the draft Agenda here.

8APCRHSR Deadline for Abstract Submission 

The deadline for the submission of abstracts to 8th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (8APCRSHR) is in one month, 30 September. Abstracts are being accepted on the topic of sexual and reproductive health and rights and sustainable development within the framework of the ICPD Beyond 2014 and post-2015 development agenda.  Find more information here.

Enter a Photo Contest and Win Free Registration to ICAAP12

Enter a photo contest and win free registration to the 12th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (ICAAP12).  ICAAP12 will take place from 20-23 November in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Read more about the contest here. 

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Agenda 2030 Final Draft Released

The final version of “Transforming our World: Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development”, for adoption at the UN post2015 Summit in September, is available here. Read the press release here. For further information, a short analysis of the final changes made during plenary is available here.

Register for the Post-2015 September Summit

The deadline for NGO registration to the UN Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda is 24 August. The Summit takes place from 25-27 September in New York. Read more here.

CSO Input on the Indicator Framework for the SDGs

Input is being sought from civil society for the proposed new indicator framework for the SDGs, the deadline is 7 September. Find more information here. In addition, the High Level Task Force for ICPD has produced “Indicators for a Transformative, High-Impact & People-Centred 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ which gathers at the leading options at global, thematic, regional and/or national levels for education, health, and gender goals, access it here.

Amnesty to Adopt Policy to Protect Human Rights of Sex Workers

Amnesty International voted to protect the human rights of sex workers, adopting a resolution which authorizes development of a policy that supports the full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work. The policy will also call on states to ensure that sex workers enjoy full and equal legal protection from exploitation, trafficking and violence. Read more here.

APA UPDATE #07 June 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA at Regional Consultation on SRHR of Women in the Mekong Sub-region

APA has been invited to speak at a Regional Consultation on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights among Women Community Partners in Greater Mekong Sub-Region, organized by member Raks Thai Foundation on 15-17 July in Bangkok. APA will share the current developments on the new Sustainable Development Goals and Targets and the inclusion of SRHR.

2014 Annual Report

APA is pleased to share its 2014 Annual Report detailing the last year’s activities, including the 12th APA Conference, the APA Advocacy Grants, and regional advocacy initiatives. Read the Annual Report here.

FROM THE MEMBERS

India: Post2015 Consultation with Parliamentarians

Swasti and Population Foundation of India were among the advocates attending a national Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to induct parliamentarians on the Sustainable Development Goals and push for the SRHR agenda until the adoption of the SDGs at the UN Summit this September. The Consultation took place in New Delhi and was organized by IPPF and Family Planning Association of India on 19 June. Read more here.

FP NZ: Open Hearing on Engaging Men and Boys in SRHR in the Pacific

Ministers and MPs from Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and New Zealand attended an Open Hearing on “Engaging Men and Boys in SRHR” at the New Zealand Parliament on 29 June. It was organized by the International Programmes unit of Family Planning New Zealand (FP NZ), which provides secretariat support for the New Zealand Parliamentarians Group on Population and Development. APA member the Burnet Institute also presented at the event.  Read more here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Early Bird Registration for 8APCRSHR

Registration for the 8th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (‪8APCRSHR‬), “Ensuring universal access to SRHR for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific” is open, with early bird prices available until 30 September. The conference takes place in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, from 23-26 February 2016. Read more here.

Bangladesh: No Steps Taken to Address the Early and Forced Marriage ‘Epidemic’

After a July 2014 pledge to end child marriage by 2041, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attempted to lower the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 16 years old, raising serious doubts about her commitment, according to a new Human Rights Watch article. Read the article here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

FP2020: Rapid Response Mechanism Funds

FP2020’s Rapid Response Mechanism supports projects that respond to emerging and urgent opportunities that will help advance family planning. Read more and apply here.

Harnessing Citizen Generated Data for Post-2015

New technologies offer exciting new ways for citizens to generate and use data in democratic and creative ways. The SDGs are an unprecedented opportunity for citizens and their organisations to leverage technology and harness the power of data to identify their sustainable development priorities, monitor and drive sustainable development progress and hold governments to account for their commitments. Read more here.

Report Demonstrates Relationship Between Sexual Health, Human Rights and the Law

A new report has been released by the WHO which demonstrates the relationship between ‪sexual health‬, ‪human rights‬ and the law. Drawing from a review of public health evidence and extensive research into human rights law at international, regional and national levels, the report shows how states in different parts of the world can and do support sexual health through legal and other mechanisms that are consistent with human rights standards and their own human rights obligations. Read more here.

Op Ed: Why are Threats to Civil Society Growing Around the World?

Mandeep Tiwana, a lawyer specialising in human rights and civil society issues and Head of Policy and Research at CIVICUS, argues that in recent years there has been a perceptible rise in restrictions on civil space and suggests four key drivers: a global democratic deficit, a worldwide obsession with state security and countering of ‘terrorism’ by all actors except the state, rampant collusion by a handful of interconnected political and economic elites, and the disturbance caused by religious fundamentalist and evangelist groups seeking to upend the collective progress made by civil society in advancing the human rights discourse. Read the article here.

APA UPDATE #05 May 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA Advocacy Grants Awarded

The Advocacy Grants for the 11th Cycle ‘‘Country Action in Asia and Pacific for SRHR in the Post-2015 Framework” have been awarded; they aim to support the strengthening of the collective SRHR agenda at national, regional and global levels. Three grants of USD 20,000 have been dispersed to members Africa Japan Forum, Family Planning New Zealand, and Raks Thai Foundation.

APA at Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development

APA is attending as CSO Observers at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok from 21-22 May. A Civil Society (CS) Forum will be held in advance to gather CS perspectives and recommendations on 17-18 May. APA is co-organizing a side session at the Forum on Gender, Sexuality and SRHR, with partners ARROW, IPPF ESEAOR, IPPF SARO, PMNCH, on 19 May. Read more here.

APA Steering Committee Meeting

The APA Steering Committee will be gathering for a meeting in Bangkok on 19-20 May.

FROM THE MEMBERS

FP NZ: Joint Statement at the CPD

Family Planning New Zealand made a joint statement with APA at the recent 48th Commission on Population and Development. The statement highlighted the need include access to safe, affordable and legal abortion as integral to achieving universal SRH; the right of people with diverse SOGI to have choices over their SRHR free from stigma and discrimination; and the cost benefit of investing in SRHR. Read the Statement here.

AFPPD: Interim Executive Director

Ms. Nobuko Horibe has been appointed as the Interim Executive Director of AFPPD effective immediately until October 2015, when the new Executive Director will be appointed. Ms Horibe brings a long experience and expertise in population and development to guide AFPPD’s work.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Indonesia: War on Drugs Responsible for Explosion of HIV

Indonesia’s "war against drugs" is directly responsible for an explosion of HIV/AIDS cases in Indonesia's penitentiaries. Currently, Indonesia has not only some of the world's harshest laws against the trafficking but also the consumption of drugs. Indonesian laws make almost no distinction between drug dealers and drug users and anti-narcotics laws that criminalize and discriminate against addicts have become more draconian over time. Read more here

Pacific: Call for Submissions from Organizations Working on Engaging Boys and Men in SRHR

Advocates, practitioners and others working with boys and men in the Pacific are being sought for a New Zealand Parliamentary Open Hearing on ‘Engaging Boys and Men in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)’. The New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development (NZPPD), in collaboration with Family Planning NZ and UNFPA, will be hosting the Open Hearing on 29 June. Deadline for Submissions is 15 May. Read more here.

FGLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Financing for Development: Latest Draft Available

The latest draft of the outcome document for the third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD3), the Addis Ababa Accord, has been released by Co-facilitators Geir Pedersen of Norway and George Talbot of Guyana. The revised draft is based on views and comments on the zero draft during the Second Drafting Session (April 13-17), the joint session on means of implementation with the post-2015 development agenda process and written inputs comments received. Read more here.

Scholarships Available: Women Deliver 2016

Scholarships for people 30 and older are being awarded to stand-out advocates over the age of 30 who have proven their commitment to advancing the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in their community and around the world. Deadline is 15 May. Read more here.

May 28 International Day of Action for Women's Health Campaign

Join the International Day of Action for Women's Health Campaign on May 28, organized by WGNRR, and call on governments worldwide to respect, protect, and fulfil women’s right to health, dignity and bodily integrity, and end violence against women in ALL its forms. Read more here.

Making Money Work: Financing a Sustainable Development Future in Asia Pacific

This report focuses on financing in the context of current global and regional dialogues. It asks: Since the post-2015 agenda in some way will touch every country, person and activity, should not every dollar count for sustainable development? Access the report here.

Oxford English Dictionary Adds Gender-neutral Title ‘Mx’

The Oxford English Dictionary has officially added the gender-neutral title ‘Mx’. People identifying as gender-neutral or transgender will now be freed from the confines of the traditional honorifics Mr, Miss and Mrs as a new title, “Mx”, joins the fray. Read more here.

APA UPDATE #04 March 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

Post-2015: APA at Negotiations on SDGs and Targets

APA will be attending the Post-2015 intergovernmental negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and targets from 23-27 March in New York. APA will also attend a kick-off meeting for a ‘2015 Action Campaign for SRHR and related issues in the post-2015 development agenda’, as a member of the Coordinating Committee of the SRHR Platform for post-2015.

FROM THE MEMBERS

Positive Women: Talking About Stigma with UNAIDS Deputy Director

Positive Women was joined by UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director Jan Beagle to hear about the experiences of a group of ‪women‬ living with ‪HIV ‬ in Auckland. The meeting was one of the regular meetings of Positive Women, a support organization for women living with HIV and their families. The group works on raising awareness of HIV in the community through educational and anti-‪stigma‬ programmes. Read more here.

Positive Women: Talking About Stigma with UNAIDS Deputy Director

Burnet Institute’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program, designed to address the appalling rate of death and disease among women and children in Papua New Guinea (‪PNG‬), has a new and influential supporter in Dame Carol Kidu. Dame Carol is Patron of the new, $10 million, five-year research program, which aims to arrest a maternal mortality rate in PNG that’s one of the highest in the world.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Apply Now: Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development

Applications are now being accepted for the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development which takes place in Bangkok on 16-18 May. This forum precedes and will strategize for civil society involvement at the intergovernmental Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD) on 20-21 May, convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and the Pacific and the United Nations Environment Programme. The APFSD will solicit Asia-Pacific regional input to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in June/July 2015. Deadline for applications to the Civil Society Forum is 5 April. Register here.

Iran: Proposed Laws Reduce Women to ‘baby making machines’ in Misguided Attempts to Boost Population

Women in Iran could face significant restrictions on their use of contraceptives and be further excluded from the labour market unless they have had a child, if two proposed laws are approved, says a new report from Amnesty International. One proposal outlaws voluntary sterilisation and promoting birth control, while another makes it harder for women without babies to get jobs. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Funding: UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality

The UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality is now accepting proposals from women-led CSOs to implement programmes to enhance women’s economic and political empowerment in the post-2015 development agenda. The grant size ranges from US$ 200,000 to US$ 500,000 for 2 or 3 year programmes. Deadline is 5 April. Find more information here.

Call for Input: New Global Strategy for Women's, Children's, and Adolescents' Health

This is an important chance to highlight that SRHR should be a priority in the development of the new updated Women's, Children's, and Adolescents' Health strategy. The deadline for input is Friday, 20 March. Access the survey here.

CSW: Activists Blast Bland UN Political Declaration as a Step Backwards for Women’s Rights

Women’s rights activists have expressed alarm at the proposed wording of a UN declaration that they say could portend a major step backwards for women’s rights. The text of the Political Declaration, published on 9 March at the start of the annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), has been branded bland and unambitious. Access the Declaration here. Read more here.

New Resource: Towards the Third International Conference on Financing for Development

“Towards the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD): Old Tensions and New Challenges Emerge in Negotiating Session” by DAWN reviews the main elements of the FfD process in order to set current debates in a context, identify the main conflict areas between the different blocks of countries, and introduce recommendations with the purpose of reorienting global economic governance and development patterns towards economic, ecological, and gender justice. Read more here.

APA UPDATE #03 February 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

Post-2015: CSOs Call for No Target to be Met Unless it is Met for All

Inequalities are not an inevitable outcome of development progress; no one must be left behind by virtue of their gender, age, disability, income, geography or ethnicity. APA has joined 282 networks – representing over 3,200 organisations worldwide – to urge UN member states to ensure that the Declaration of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda includes an explicit reference to the criterion that “no target should be considered met unless it is met for all social and economic groups”. Read the CS Statement here.

FROM THE MEMBERS

AFPPD: Secretary General Leads Talks on Reproductive Health Protection Bill in Thailand

A seminar focusing on addressing teen pregnancy rates and reproductive health in Thailand was organized by AFPPD in cooperation with the Committee on Public Health of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), Thailand, and partners, on 3 February. One of the objectives of the meeting was submission of a draft Reproductive Health Protection Bill. The Secretary General of AFPPD, Dr. Jetn Siratharanon, and Chair of NLA public health committee, emphasized that everybody, including teenagers, has the right to receive sexual and reproductive health care. Read more here.

PAI: Infographic on the Helm’s Amendment Prevents Women from Accessing RH Services

Check out Population Action International’s latest infographic to learn how the Helms Amendment, which makes no exceptions for funding overseas abortion services, prevents women from accessing the safe reproductive health services they need. Every woman should have access to safe, affordable abortion care, but the United States government imposes numerous restrictions on funding for abortion services. Access the infographic here

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Don't Leave Communities Behind: CS Perspectives on Achieving Universal Access

This report shares civil society perspectives on progress in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in Asia and the Pacific. The CS responses were gathered in a survey prepared (in parallel with a government survey), ahead of the UNESCAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) on HIV/AIDS, held in Bangkok on 28-30 January. Access the report here

Regional Beijing +20 Review Report

The report from the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand on 17-20 November 2014 is now available. Convened by UN ESCAP in cooperation with UN Women, the “Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” was an outcome. Access the report here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Global Policy Watch: Promoting Transparency in the Post-2015 and Financing for Development Process

This factsheet by the Global Policy Watch lays out the two–track negotiations unfolding at the United Nations from now until September - the post–2015 sustainable development agenda, and financing for development. The issues in each are deeply interlinked, and the success of any new model depends on the outcomes of both. Access the factsheet here.

CSOs Welcome BRICS Summit Outcomes

Civil Society delegations at the BRICS Summit are welcoming the outcome document for its recognition of human rights framework, CSE (in line with national policies), and gender equality. The Second Civil Society Forum on sexual and reproductive health and rights was organized in advance of the Summit on 8-9 February and supported by IPPF, and the BRICS Summit took place from 10-13 February in Brazil. Read the Outcome Document here.

New Resource Mobilization Tool for Accessing EU Donors

DSW has launched a new resource mobilisation e-learning tool. Created as part of DSW’s Euroleverage project, the new tool has been designed to equip and train local civil society organisations in low- and middle-income countries in how to better access EU based funding opportunities. Access the tool here.

Add Your Voice to an E-discussion on the Transition from the MDGs to the SDGs

An e-discussion to engage stakeholders in a global dialogue on specific aspects of the 2015 ECOSOC theme of "Managing the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the sustainable development goals: What it will take" is being held from 17 February - 17 March, organized by UN DESA and UNDP. Access the discussion here.

APA UPDATE #02 January 2015


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA at the Global Strategy Meeting on ICPD Beyond 2014 & the Post 2015 Development Agenda

APA is attending the ‘Global Strategy Meeting: ICPD Beyond 2014 & the Post 2015 Development Agenda’ which takes place in Istanbul from 23-25 January. The objective is to strategize on how CSOs and UNFPA can partner to ensure that ICPD Beyond 2014 review outcomes are taken forward and integrated in the best possible way into the post 2015 agenda, including through a responsive monitoring and evaluation framework.

APA at the Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS

APA Secretariat staff are attending as CSO Observers at the Asia-Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV next week, and are organizing two side events in collaboration with partners. “My Body My Rights: Fighting HIV through the Lens of Sexual Rights” is on 28 January from 17:30 to 19:00, organized with IPPF Saro and UN AIDS; and “Keeping the Focus on HIV Affected Women and Girls” is on 30 January from 11:00-12:30, organized by Unzip the Lips with UNDP. Follow APA on Twitter for updates, @AsiaPacAlliance !

New Executive Director

APA is pleased the announce the appointment of our new Executive Director, Kabir Singh, head of the Secretariat office located in Bangkok, Thailand. With a strong background in human rights and HIV, Kabir joins APA after working with a range of organizations on issues related to SRHR and development, including IPPF South Asia Regional Office, India HIV AIDS Alliance, FHI 360, Population Services International and the World Bank Group.

FROM THE MEMBERS

ACSHR: Shifting Politics in Multilateral Development and Human Rights Negotiations and Lack of Accountability

The post-2015 development agenda currently being negotiated at the United Nations in New York will dictate development strategies and influence aid flows for the foreseeable future, highlights a new article co-authored by Sandeep Prasad of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (ACSHR). Read more here.

AFPPD: National Committee and UNFPA Advocacy Planning Session

The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Developement (AFPPD) is holding its 4th Annual AFPPD National Committees and UNFPA Advocacy Planning Session, aiming to ensure a consolidated effort towards the further implementation of the ICPD in the post 2015 development framework, on 28-29 January in Bangkok, Thailand. APA will attend and share about the advocacy work of the Alliance.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

CSW Briefing

In preparation for the 59th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), there will be informal briefing with this year’s Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women on 26 January in Bangkok, organized by UN Women and the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development. The briefing will provide civil society in Asia and the Pacific with information on the process and content of 59CSW to be held in New York from 9 - 20 March. Read more here.

Taiwan: Lifts Deportation Requirement for Foreigners that Test Positive for HIV

Foreign nationals in Taiwan who are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS will no longer be subject to deportation, according to an amendment passed by the Legislative Yuan on 20 January. Read more here.

India: All Women Taxi Services on the Rise

Cab firms in areas such as India's capital New Delhi and the southern state of Kerala have seen the number of people using all-women taxi services rise over recent times amid growing fears of sexual violence against women. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

UN Secretary-General Synthesis Report: Final Version contains SRH and RR

The final Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, 'The Road to Dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives, and protecting the planet' is now available. A reference to Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and Reproductive Rights (RR) is contained in Paragraph 70. Read more here.

ICPD High Level Task Force on Financing the Post-2015 Development Agenda

A new resource from the ICPD High Level Task Force places the cost of funding the Post-2015 Development Agenda at trillions of dollars a year. While this magnitude may seem dizzying, especially for low-income countries with over-stretched public budgets and donor countries facing economic uncertainties, the financial resources required are in fact available. It is a matter of setting the right priorities, ensuring equitable distribution, and avoiding the mistakes and omissions of the past. Read more here.

Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender People Recognized in the US State of the Union Address

President Barack Obama pushed for protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals on 20 January, making it the first time lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have ever been recognized directly in a State of the Union address. Read more here.

APA UPDATE #12 December 2014


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

Happy Holidays!

The APA Secretariat would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. We look forward to working together in 2015 to help make SRHR for all a reality!

FROM THE MEMBERS

PFI: Robbed of Choice and Dignity: Indian Women Dead after Mass Sterilization

Population Foundation of India (PFI) coordinated a fact-finding team from 4 organizations to Bilaspur, India following the death of 16 women after a sterilization camp. The team surveyed the camp sites, interviewed doctors and support staff involved in service delivery, as well as the women who had been sterilized, and family members of those who had died. A list of recommendations is included in their ‘Robbed of Choice and Dignity: Indian Women Dead after Mass Sterilization’ report. Read the report here.

Burnet: Disappointed over Australian Foreign Aid Cuts

Burnet Institute is profoundly disappointed that the Australian government has announced its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook and the foreign aid budget will be cut by $3.7 billion over the next three years. Burnett believes that this decision lacks compassion for the world’s most needy people. Read more here.

MSIA: CEO Recognized for Work on SRHR in Australia

Maria Deveson Crabbe, CEO of Marie Stopes International Australia (MSIA) was named the Victorian State winner in the Community and Government category at the 2014 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. She was recognized for her pioneering work in bringing mifepristone to Australia, improving access to safe abortion services for all Australian women. Her strategy of establishing a not-for-profit pharmaceutical entity (MS Health) to register mifepristone has been instrumental in raising Australia’s international standing in sexual and reproductive health care. Read more here.

FP NZ: Kiribati Healthy Families Project

The past year has been a busy one for the Kiribati Healthy Families Project, with significant progress towards improving the sexual and reproductive health and rights of I-Kiribati in South Tarawa, including two clinical trainings and one health promotion training, a mobile clinic that served over 1500 clients, and the launch of a new report, Investment in Family Planning in Kiribati: A Cost-Benefit Analysis.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Report from the Asia Pacific Beijing +20 Review

The report form the Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review has just been released. Advances were noted in the areas of women’s labor rights, decent work, climate change and sexuality education for young people, however it is disappointing that the rights of women to have control over their bodies and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including SRH and sexual orientation and gender identity, free from coercion, discrimination and violence, were not upheld. Read the report here.

Bangladesh Case Study: Community Health Worker Initiative

The Community Health Worker Initiative of Care Bangladesh is strengthening the health system across the remote and hard-to-reach/ unserved areas of Sunamganj, Bangladesh. It is improving access to essential maternal, neonatal and child health services, through expanding the availability of skilled birth attendants at the community level. Read more here

GLOBAL NEWS, RESOURCES AND UPDATES

Modalities for Intergovernmental Negotiations on Post-2015

Member States have reached agreement on the modalities of the intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, available here. The Coordinating Committee of the Civil Society Platform to Promote Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Beyond 2015, of which APA is a member, sent a letter last week to the Co-Chairs to urge for full participation of CSOs in the post-2015 development process. For further information about the Modalities agreement, read more on the NGOs Beyond 2014 website here.

UN Secretary General Synthesis Report on Post-2015

An advanced unedited version of the UN Secretary General Synthesis Report “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet” is available, to support the discussions of Member States. Civil Society can provide input on the Report here. Access the Report here.

FP2020: Rights and Empowerment Principles Released, and 5 New Commitments Made

FP2020 worked with a range of international partners to develop its Rights and Empowerment Principles for Family Planning, which describes 10 dimensions of human rights that are critical to growing sustainable, equitable, and effective programs with lasting impact. At the same time, three additional nations – Burundi, Cameroon and Togo – have made commitments to FP2020, along with The Brush Foundation and EngenderHealth. Read more here

Report on the Global Outlook for Aid

This report provides an overview of global aid allocations up to 2017 based on the results of the 2014 DAC Survey on Donors’ Forward Spending Plans. It highlights a slight increase in expected global aid up to 2017, however it also shows a worrying trend of continued stagnation in programmed aid towards many aid dependent countries. This year’s report also examines aid providers’ policies and procedures to provide a better understanding of the progress and obstacles for improving the predictability of development finance. Read more here.

Rethinking Partnerships in a post-2015 World: Towards Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Development

This 2014 Reality of Aid Report brings together civil society experience and perspectives on recent trends in partnerships and development cooperation. It points to some essential conditions that may determine the effectiveness of global, regional and country level partnerships in achieving the post2015 SDGs. And it makes a series of recommendations for structuring partnerships that are informed by the Millennium Declaration commitment “to spare no effort to promote respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms”. Read the report here.

APA UPDATE #11 NOVEMBER 2014


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

Calling for Accountability for SRHR for All

The 12th APA Conference ‘Promoting Accountability and Addressing Inequalities: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific’ on 15 - 16 October in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, culminated with a joint statement calling for stronger accountability for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all in achieving sustainable development. Read the statement here.

Asia Pacific Beijing +20 Review: Governments Fail on Sexual Rights

APA attended the ‘Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing +20 Review’ on 17-20 November with members AFPPD and IPPF ESEAOR; and collaborated with the Unzip the Lips platform, currently hosted by APA, to organize a side event on ‘building policy sensitivity for marginalized women: positioning health and human rights for post-2015’. The Beijing +20 outcome included victories in the areas of women’s labor rights, decent work, climate change and sexuality education for young people, however a handful of conservative Governments held the region hostage by preventing the advancement of the rights of women to have control over their bodies and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality. Read the Unzip the Lips press release here.

Asia Pacific Intergovernmental Meeting on HIV and AIDS

APA is a member of the CSO Steering Committee in preparation for the ESCAP Intergovernmental Meeting (IGM) on HIV and AIDS, organized this 28-30 January 2015 in Bangkok. The CSO SC will organize a civil society forum in advance of the IGM on 27 January and coordinate civil society during the IGM. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

FROM THE MEMBERS

ACPD: Merger and Re-launch as Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

Action Canada for Population and Development joins two other leading organizations to become Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights; a progressive, pro-choice charitable organization that is now officially launched and ready to speak up for sexual health and rights in Canada and globally. Read more here.

PFI: Statement on Sterilization Deaths in India

Population Foundation of India released a statement on Chhattisgarh sterilization deaths last week. 13 young mothers died at a sterilization camp at a hospital in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh. These deaths serve as a reminder that a "target free" approach, which India claims to follow, is not yet reality. Read the statement here.

FP NZ: blog on Relationships and Abuse for International Day to End Violence Against Women

Tuesday 25 November was White Ribbon Day, the international day to end violence against women. Family Planning New Zealand has written a blog on the topic of relationship abuse. You might not think that violence affects your relationship but the reality is 15 to 24 year-olds are the group most at risk of violence from current or former partners. Read the post here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Asia-Pacific States adopt Declaration to Advance Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

In a press statement civil society organizations from across the Asia Pacific region expressed their disappointment at the regressive outcomes document agreed to by the States in the Asia Pacific Beijing +20 review. They questioned the lack of progressive language on sexual rights and on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). CSOs also reiterated the need for accountability and financial and political will to ensure States' commitments under the BPfA, including ensuring that these commitments are included in the post-2015 development agenda. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

‘Food for Thought’ paper on Modalities for Negotiations on Post-2015 Development Agenda

Sam K Kutesa, President of the General Assembly has transmitted a letter from the Co-facilitators for the post-2015 development agenda and their ‘food for thought’ paper to all UN Permanent Representatives. It provides a basis, based on views expressed by Member States during the consultations held on 4 and 10 November, for further discussions that will take place on 3 and 16 December. It is then hoped that the modalities will be finalized by the end of December so that the substantive consultation can begin in January 2015. Read more here and here.

New Resource: EU and the Global Development Framework Post-2015

The EU and the Global Development Framework post-2015 report promotes the human rights-based approach and the central role of women and girls as important pillars in the post-2015 framework. It calls for an inclusion of ambitious targets related to the rights of women and girls, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, and stresses the need for universal access to health services, including family planning. Read the report here.

Call for Proposals: SRHR Research Programme in Bangladesh or Burundi

Call for proposals from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (WTO) for the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) research programme, which aims to generate insights in and a better understanding of processes that determine and strengthen the sexual and reproductive health of people, as well as their ability to claim their SRH. The call solicits proposals for research to be carried out in Bangladesh or Burundi, and the deadline to submit a Letter of Intent is 5 January 2015. Read more here.

UN State of the World Population 2014

The latest United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report ‘The State of World Population, the Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future’, shows how the record youth population in the developing world holds the key to progress, but that nations need to invest in their education, health and rights. Access the report here.

APA UPDATE #10 SEPTEMBER 2014


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA Conference and Members Meeting

The Secretariat is pleased to be welcoming members and partners to the 12th APA Conference “Promoting Accountability and Addressing Inequalities: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific” on 15-16 October, and the General Meeting of the Members on 17 October, at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel in Ha Noi Vietnam. The conference is being organized by APA in cooperation with the Vietnam Family Planning Association (VINAFPA), the local organizing partner. A two day APA Steering Committee meeting will be held in advance on 13-14 October.

Work For APA!

APA is currently recruiting for the position of Executive Director (ED). The successful candidate will have considerable experience working with advocacy and sexual and reproductive health and rights or managing programs on similar or related issues. The ED will be leading the Secretariat based in Bangkok. This is the perfect role for an experienced manager with proven expertise working with a variety of NGOs, and the ability to build new partnerships across different countries and policy contexts. Read more here.

FROM THE MEMBERS

MSI: Report on Ending Unsafe Abortions

Marie Stopes International (MSI) launched a report about how we can achieve a world where women don’t die from an unsafe abortion. The report was launched as world leaders met for the United Nation’s 69th General Assembly to discuss the future of global development. Read the Report here.

ACPD: Lessons From the First Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review

A new publication ‘Lessons From the First Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review: From Commitment to Action on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’ based on research and analysis conducted by Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD), on behalf of the SRI and developed by the UNFPA has been launched. It examines the role the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) mechanism can play in advancing the realization of human rights related to sexuality and gender at the global, regional and country levels. Access the publication here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Apply Now: CS Forum for Asia Pacific Beijing +20 Review

There is a Call for Applications for the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum, to take place in Bangkok on 14-16 November. The goal is to develop a collective strategy on the priority issues for the Asia Pacific region on the Beijing +20 review processes, in advance of the intergovernmental ‘Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review’ taking place on 17-20 November in Bangkok. The Call for Applications will close on 5 October 2014. Read more and apply here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

27th Session UN Human Rights Council: Resolution on Maternal Mortality

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) unanimously passed its fifth resolution on preventable maternal deaths, urging all UN member states to take action at all levels to address the causes of maternal mortality with a human rights-based approach. However, the resolution failed to acknowledge that such an approach must also ensure women’s sexual and reproductive rights. The resolution calls for UN member states to address how discrimination against women has contributed to maternal mortality and to implement policies that address preventable maternal deaths and health complications, in accordance with the 2012 human rights guidelines from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Read more here.

27th Session UN HRC: Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The UN HRC adopted the second-ever UN resolution on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, Resolution A/HRC/27/L.27 Rev.1. The resolution also expresses “grave concern” at acts of violence and discrimination in all regions of the world against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more here and here.

New Fund for Civil Society Working on SRHR

Amplify Change is a new fund being set up to help secure universal recognition of SRHR as a human right, enabling people to realise their full potential in safe and secure environments. They will provide grants to civil society organisations to advocate for, and support policy on, marginalised sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. Read more here.

UNGASS on ICPD: Op Ed by the High Level Task Force on ICPD

Sexual and reproductive rights are often lightning rods in intergovernmental debates and national politics, dubbed controversial and sidelined as distractions. But sexual and reproductive rights, simply put, are the basic rights of all individuals to have control over decisions that affect the most private aspects of their lives - decisions about one's body, sexuality, relationships, marriage, and having children. Read the article here.

APA UPDATE #09 AUGUST 2014


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA at 3rd Regional Consultation on Accountability and Monitoring Framework for the Post-2015 Agenda

At the Regional Consultation on Accountability for the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the 70th Commission Session of ESCAP, from 5 - 8 August, and as part of the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism (AP-RCEM), Executive Director Rose Koenders made two interventions on financing and global partnerships. Accountability at the national, regional, and global levels for the post-2015 development agenda, including the role of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development , was discussed at the event. Read more here.

APA at 3rd ESCAP Committee on Social Development

APA joined fellow advocates including members AFPPD and IPPF ESEAOR as CSO observers at the 3rd ESCAP Committee on Social Development (CSD) in Bangkok from 18 - 20 August, and a preparatory CSO strategy meeting on 17 August. The CSD focused on preparations for the “Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review”, to be convened by ESCAP and UN Women in Bangkok on 17 - 20 November.

APA at ‘Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights’ Side Event at the Human Rights Council

APA has been invited to speak at the ‘Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights: Two years after the technical guidance’ side event at the Human Rights Council on 10 September in Geneva.

FROM THE MEMBERS

Pathfinder: Family Planning Best Practices Conference in Myanmar

Pathfinder International and Myanmar’s Ministry of Health hosted the Family Planning Best Practices Conference from 30 June - 2 July. The conference brought together more than 100 guests from Myanmar and around the world to Naypyitaw to discuss best practices in family planning, while providing township representatives an opportunity to share experiences and develop localized action plans around family planning and related reproductive health services. Read more here.

YCSRR: Blogs on SOGI/E and the Post-2015 Agenda

A series written of blogs have been written by participants of the Post-2015 Youth Global Strategy Meeting convened by the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR). The blogs explore how young people can be the change for the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression (SOGI/E) and the Post-2015 Agenda. Read the blogs here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Save the Date: CSO Forum on Beijing +20

The dates have been announced for the Asia Pacific Civil Society Forum on Beijing +20, it will be held on 15 - 16 November in Bangkok. The event is being held in conjunction with the ‘Asian and Pacific Conference on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment: Beijing+20 Review’ intergovernmental meeting convened by UN ESCAP and UN Women on 17 - 20 November in Bangkok. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Decriminalization of Sex Work Critical to Public Health

Decriminalization of sex work has resulted in higher rates of condom use and enables sex workers to organize community-based health practices that demonstrably improve health and reduce HIV risk, highlights a recent article in Reality Check. It also makes it possible for sex workers to report and for the police to address illegal acts as they occur, such as assault, theft of services, employment of minors, or client coercion. Read more here.

Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin Reappointed as UNFPA Executive Director

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has reappointed Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin as the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Save the Date: 4th Women Deliver Conference

The new date and location of the 4th Women Deliver 2016 Global Conference has been announced.  The event will be held on 17 - 19 May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Read more here.

APA UPDATE #08 JULY 2014


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

APA Condolences

APA Secretariat wishes to convey our deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of all the people that were on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that was bound for Melbourne, where the IAC is being held. It is a tragedy and a loss for everyone. 

APA is Seeking a Consultant

APA is seeking a consultant to develop and coordinate the Unzip the Lips Campaign “No woman left behind” and develop a post-2015 roadmap for HIV key affected women and girls (KAWG) in Asia and the Pacific through social mobilization and community participation, from 1 August - 31 December 2014. Read more here.

FROM THE MEMBERS

Care: Giving Women the Power to Say No is Essential to Reducing HIV & AIDS

According to Care Australia, the huge inequality between women and men in parts of Asia-Pacific is hampering efforts to tackle HIV & AIDS in the region. Ahead of the conference, CARE is urging governments and health groups to ensure gender inequality is tackled as part of efforts to combat the spread of HIV & AIDS. Read more here.

PAI: The Hidden Family Planning Crisis of the Urban Poor

A new article by Population Action International (PAI) asks ‘How does urban poverty affect sexual and reproductive health’? The urban poor have high rates of unintended pregnancies, higher fertility, higher risk of sexually transmitted infections, and poor maternal health outcomes. Read more here

YCSRR: Young People Strategize Toward Post-2015 Agenda at Cross-Regional Meeting

21 young people from across regions and movements convened in Hong Kong last week to share information and strategize around mutual priorities for the post-2015 development agenda, organized by the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR). Participants agreed on key priorities for the next development agenda, including health and sexual and reproductive health and rights; employment; education; gender equality and women’s rights – including SOGI; governance and political participation; and peace and security. Read more here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

India: Mock Sex Ed Class Video

A mock Indian sex education class showing a teacher struggling with a "government approved" syllabus is making waves among Indian internet users. East India Comedy's video mocks remarks on Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's website suggesting "so-called 'sex education'" should be banned. Read more here.

Malaysia: Transgenderism a ‘psychological condition’ Claims Council in Sharia Court

Transgenderism is a curable “psychological condition” that does not preclude those with the disorder from being subject to Shariah law, Negri Sembilan’s state legal adviser asserted in a judicial review of a state enactment that criminalises cross-dressing today. Read more here.

Myanmar: SRHR Violations of Rohingya in Displacement Camps

For tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims trapped in displacement camps in western Myanmar, when complications in childbirth occur, patients cannot go to government hospitals without hard-to-get authorization and hefty bribes. Nearby clinics are usually staffed by just one or two doctors, sometimes for only a few hours a day. Many emergencies are now handled by midwives and workers in ill-equipped village pharmacies. Read more here.

Pakistan: Where Children are also Mothers

Most South Asian nations, like Pakistan, struggle with the twin problems of early marriage and teenage pregnancy, making it crucial to tackle both simultaneously, experts say. Pathfinder International’s Tauseef Ahmed believes a strong conservative current in Pakistani society – where 97 percent of the population identifies as Muslim – also conspires against the girl child, making early marriage and adolescent pregnancy a foregone conclusion for thousands of girls. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

FP2020: New Rapid Response Mechanism

FP2020’s Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) opened for applications on 10 July 2014. The RRM supports rapid response grants that fill urgent gaps and unforeseen time-bound opportunities to accelerate progress towards FP2020’s goal of expanding access to family planning information, services, and supplies to an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries by 2020.Read more here.

Post-2015: Proposed Sustainable Development Goals and Targets

The proposal for the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets have been released by the Open Working Group, at the close of their 13th meeting. Two SRHR targets are included, under goal 3 "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages", and goal 5 "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls". ICPD and Beijing are also mentioned in the introduction. Access the Proposed Goals and Targets here.

MSI: New Infographic Shows Reality of Unsafe Abortion.

Every year millions of women turn to unsafe abortion to end unwanted pregnancies and our teams frequently encounter women suffering the effects. With around half of global abortions being unsafe, a new infographic from Marie Stopes International highlights the consequences. Access the infographic here.

New Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment and Care for Key Populations

A new report by the World Health Organization entitled 'Consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations'. The publication warns that failure to provide adequate HIV services for key groups, such as men who have sex with men, people in prison, people who inject drugs, sex workers and transgender people, threatens the global progress of the HIV response. Access the Guidelines here.

New Infographic on Global Grantmaking for Human Rights

Advancing Human Rights, the state of global foundation grantmaking, is an interactive infographic which allows viewers to peruse the current state of grantmaking in the field of human rights by region and topic. Read more here

APA UPDATE #06 JUNE 2014


E-NEWS AND INFORMATION ON SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

FROM THE SECRETARIAT

Save the Date: APA Conference and Members Meeting

The 12th APA Conference and Members’ meeting, “Promoting Accountability and Addressing Inequalities: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights & Sustainable Development” will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam on 15-17 October.

CSO Statement: Advancing a People’s Agenda for Just and Sustainable Development

APA joined civil society groups from Asia and the Pacific met in Bangkok from May 15-17 to develop regional recommendations on just and sustainable development for action at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development, which took place on 19- 21 May. Read the CSO statement here. A Chair’s Summary from the Intergovernmental meeting is forthcoming.

FROM THE MEMBERS

FP NZ: Making the Case for Investing in Family Planning in Kiribati

The Kiribati Government could save up to $AUD18.8 million in health and education expenditure over 15 years by investing in family planning, according to a cost-benefit analysis by Family Planning New Zealand (FP NZ). Some 28 % of married women in Kiribati want to prevent pregnancy but are not using contraception – the third highest unmet need for family planning in the Pacific. Read the analysis here.

YCSRR: Global Youth Strategy Meeting on Post-2015

The Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (YCSRR) is organizing a global strategy meeting for young activists involved in the Post-2015 discussions, from 6-8 June in Bangkok. It is open to young people ages 18-29 involved in post 2015, especially those working on SRHR. Read more here.

MSI Australia: Men and Women Who Inspire Change

To mark International Women’s Day, Marie Stopes International (MSI) Australia compiled a list of 12 women and one man who’ve inspired change and helped to improve the lives of women either in their community or at a global level. Access the list here.

Care Australia: Welcoming a Commitment by Australia Women’s Economic Empowerment

CARE Australia is welcoming the Government’s commitment to women and girls’ empowerment in the Australian aid program, following the announcement of a new initiative to strengthen women’s trade opportunities in Asia Pacific. Read more here.

FOCUS ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Malaysia: Girl Raped by 38 Men

Malaysian police have detained 13 men and are looking for other suspects following allegations that a 15-year-old girl was raped by 38 men in the country's northern region. Read more here.

Iran: Banning Vasectomies to Increase Birthrate

Iran to ban vasectomies and impose new punishments for doctors offering contraception in attempt to increase birth rate. Iran's parliament are set to make a U-turn on progressive family planning laws, to counteract an aging population and double the country's population from 77 million to around 150 million. Tehran's conservative-dominated parliament, the Majlis, voted in favour of debating the move, which could include punishments for those doctors offering contraceptive services and abortions. Read more here.

India: Two Girls Found Hanging After Gang-rape

Two teenage girls have been found dead, hanging from a tree in a northern Indian village after they were gang-raped by five men, police said on Thursday. Read more here.

GLOBAL NEWS, UPDATES AND RESOURCES

Post-2015: Proposed Goals and Targets on Sustainable Development

The new draft of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals and Target for Post-2015 have been released. SRH / RR are included under the health (goal 3) and gender equality (goal 5), as: target 3.8 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health for all; and target 5.9 ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in accordance with the ICPD PoA. Access the document here.

UN Statement on Forced and Coercive Sterilization

A statement on “Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization” has been released by OHCHR, UN Women, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO. Anchored in international human rights norms and standards, it contains guidance and recommendations for legal, policy and service delivery. Read the Statement here.

Campaign Urges for Inclusion of SRHR in Post-2015

A global campaign to ensure the rights of people to make decisions over their own bodies is enshrined in the next set of development goals was launched by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). It is calling for SRHR to be included as a target under a health goal, and gender equality and sexual health and rights to be mainstreamed through all other goals in the post-2015 development agenda. Read more here.

Day of Action for Women’s Health

May 28 was the International Day of Action for Women's Health, and women's health and rights advocates and activists all around the world are mobilized and called for a holistic, inclusive, & human rights-based approach to women's health and SRHR. They are also demanding for the recognition of the diversity of women and girls' sexual and reproductive health needs. Read the call to action and sign on here.

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