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UPR of Poland at the HRC


The 27th session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held at the UN Human Rights Council, in Geneva, from 1-12 May 2017. Eleven countries were reviewed during UPR27, among them Poland. The Federation for Women and Family in collaboration with the Sexual Rights Initiative submitted a report (read it here) to the Human Rights Council on the UPR focusing on violations of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in Poland including restricted access to abortion and contraception, biased and poor quality comprehensive sexuality education, poor ante-natal care and lack of access to medically assisted reproduction. The escalating violations of Polish women’s sexual and reproductive rights place their lives and health at risk and undermine their rights to bodily autonomy and integrity, privacy, to be free from torture, to education and to self-determination.

The UPR outcome for each State reviewed during UPR27 will be adopted at the 35th session of the HRC (June 2017). The outcome report indicates which recommendations the State agrees to implement, and its responses to other recommendations. This is the only opportunity for civil society to make an oral statement during the official UPR process. The Federation for Women and Family in collaboration with Sexual Rights Initiative will work to ensure that sexual and reproductive rights are visible during this segment of the UPR process.

The intervening period is an opportunity to engage in dialogue with States on accepting relevant recommendations – and, at the same time, not accepting those recommendations that are inconsistent with human rights norms and standards. It is also a means for gaining the support of media and the general public.

Deferred Recommendations during the 27th UPR session:

  • Amend the Act on Equal Treatment in order to prohibit discrimination, in a comprehensive manner, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, in all areas and sectors, in particular, taking into account access to education, health, social protection and housing (Mexico)
  • Expand the scope of the compulsory course on family life education, to provide a comprehensive and age-appropriate education on sexual and reproductive health and rights and to ensure unimpeded access to sexual and reproductive health services, including to safe and legal abortions (Slovenia)
  • Strengthen the elimination of all forms of violence against women by criminalizing domestic violence and marital rape (Belgium)
  • Ensure that women are provided the necessary medical and professional service to exercise their legal right to termination of pregnancy, and ascertain that women have the right to decide over their own bodies (Sweden)

Click here for the full list of recommendations made related to sexual rights, including State responses during the 27th UPR session.

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