Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Latin America: an analysis of trends, commitments and achievements
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The Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 defined strategies and goals for advancing reproductive health and rights that are still far from being reached in Latin America. This paper will use elements of a framework developed by Gruskin et al(1) that analyses the interconnected factors affecting the sexual and reproductive health of people living with HIV. We use and adapt some of these elements to examine the extent to which sexual and reproductive rights have been realized in Latin America since 1994. Specifically, we consider the rights, needs and aspirations of people; the socioeconomic context; national and international law and policy; health systems, services and programmes; the opposition; the perceived high costs of political support; the role of civil society, NGO networks and coalitions; and development aid, donor policy and government funding. There are a growing number of progressive regional and national bodies, organizations, groups and individuals with a commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the region, and many gains have been made in the realization of these rights. However, these gains are only partial, given the acute inequality across ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic lines, and there is evidence of widening gaps. Given the breadth of the subject and the number of countries involved, this paper can cite only a few of the enormous number of examples from the literature. We hope the paper will stimulate further in-depth, critical reviews of these issues at the country and regional level.
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