Sexuality, being a natural and very precious aspect of life and an essential and fundamental aspect of humanity requires that, for people to attain the highest standard of health, they must first be empowered to exercise choice in their sexual and reproductive health, feel safe and confident in expressing their sexual identities.
What puzzles me and surely a whole lot of other young people is the question whether sexual rights are human rights? This question has been of great debate within humanitarian circles and especially those working in the sexual and reproductive health domain. I guess it was for this reason that IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation) In 2009 came out with- Sexual rights: an IPPF declaration pocket guide, a document which summarizes sexual rights ,which now serves as an indispensable tool to assist policy makers and advocates to defend, promote and advance sexual rights at all levels-local to international, people working in the field of development, health, social justice and gender equity.
This pocket guide stipulates that sexual rights are a component of human rights which are a growing set of entitlements related to sexuality that contributes to the freedom, equality and dignity of all people and definitely cannot be ignored.
Divided into three parts, part one outlines international agreements and documents relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights and universal human rights, explaining the basic intentions of human rights frame work.
Part two sets out seven guiding principles included in the declaration which are designed to ensure that sexual rights are respected protected and advanced.
The last part of this pocket guide gives the relationship existing between sexual rights and human rights outlined in ten articles covering issues on sexuality that stem from universal inalienable human rights encompassing right to life for all, equality, privacy, autonomy, health, education ,protection ,bodily integrity ,participation and dignity. If you have any doubts therefore and want to have them clarified, this pocket guide is highly recommended.
I understand you! reading this BLOG is a youth activist and in your heart you want to bring about change but first, you must take some time out to know exactly what the reality is and so when you stand anywhere and time to speak people would nod in approval saying that young woman or man knows exactly what she/ he is saying.
By Abongwa Victor
International journalist for IYY – Cameroon.