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The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on sex-selective abortions


The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights published his position on the issue of sex-selective abortions. He shows to the skewed ratios at birth which have been observed in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia but also in some countries of the Balkan region. He points to the ultrasound technology as a very needed and important medical equipment but also the fastest way of learning the sex of the foetus. He shows to several international human rights bodies who have taken a stand on sex-selection, such as the CEDAW Committee, the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing and The Council of Europe Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine. The European Court of Human Rights case law does not yet provide guidance on sex-selective abortion.

He shows to the complexity of the issue and calls sex-selective abortions “highly problematic from the standpoint of the principle of equality between men and women. Irrespective of one’s choice to view the problem either as violence against the foetus or the woman, sex-selective abortion is a clear case of discrimination with strong elements of physical and psychological violence.”

He puts forward a few action points for governments and international community to engage in and calls for a strong mobilisation to eliminate such practices. The Commissioner also calls for criminalisation of sex-selective abortions.

Read the full article here.

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