A step forward in respecting human rights and improving access to and quality of family planning


In line with the recently approved Action plan for sexual and reproductive health: towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Europe – leaving no one behind, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) organized a workshop in close collaboration with WHO for health professionals, decision-makers and development partners from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The workshop, entitled Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services, took place on 22–24 November 2016 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Its overall goal was to ensure that gender-responsive and human rights dimensions are integrated into national family planning strategies.

Minister of Health of Kyrgyzstan Talantbek Batyraliev welcomed participants, emphasizing the importance of a life-course approach in ensuring access to health education, evidence-based information and quality health care services. Country delegations then presented analyses of the present situation regarding family planning and human rights in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Speakers presented and distributed WHO tools such as “Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services: guidance and recommendations” (2014) and the “Framework for ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information” (2014), as well as related UNFPA guidance on human rights, gender equality and contraception. They also led a number of exercises to foster a better understanding of the concept of human rights. Participants then developed and discussed country-specific action plans for the next 3–5 years.

The workshop was the first of its kind in eastern European and central Asian countries, and represented an important step forward in achieving the vision of the Action plan for sexual and reproductive health.