Policy

WHO

Regional level

WHO/Europe's key strategic policy tool is the WHO European regional strategy on sexual and reproductive health, developed in 2001 in close collaboration with health ministries and other partners. Countries can use it as guidance in developing and reforming their reproductive health services (SRH) in the health system. In 2014, the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee for Europe (SCRC) agreed to develop a new sexual and reproductive health strategy and action plan for the European Region to be finalized in 2016.

Country level

The WHO European regional strategy on sexual and reproductive health has been used as a guide for many countries to develop their own national policy documents, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, the Republic of Moldova, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. 

Global level

The World Health Assembly approved a global reproductive health strategy in 2004. It targets five priority aspects of reproductive and sexual health:

  • improving antenatal, delivery, postpartum and newborn care;
  • providing high-quality services for family planning, including infertility services;
  • eliminating unsafe abortion;
  • combating sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, reproductive tract infections, cervical cancer and other gynaecological morbidities; and
  • promoting sexual health.

Other international commitments

Since 1995 many international development strategies, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), have played an important role in focusing efforts and highlighting resources needed for ensuring human rights and for decreasing SRH inequalities. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action is the most comprehensive global policy framework to achieve those goals. Despite great improvements for women to access SRH care, inequalities between and within countries remain and is considered "unfinished agenda" in reaching universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights included in the Sustainable Development Goals 2015–2030.

Other United Nations conventions and summits resulted in many commitments related to sexual and reproductive health, including: the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).