Advocating for a rights-based approach to Population Dynamics at Post-2015 Global MeetingsGeneva, Switzerland

Task Force Members Sandeep Prasad and Alessandra Nilo attended the Population Dynamics Civil Society Consultation on 18-19 February in Geneva, Switzerland to help ensure a human rights-based and gender-sensitive approach to Population Dynamics was reflected in the draft report of the Global Thematic Consultation on Population Dynamics, co-convened by UN DESA, UNFPA, UN Habitat and IOM, with the governments of Bangladesh and Switzerland.

The report contains multiple references to sexual and reproductive health and rights, with recommendations for universal access to quality, affordable, integrated sexual and reproductive health services (in both high and low-fertility contexts) , comprehensive sexuality education for young people, the elimination of gender-based violence and of child, early and forced marriage, as well as equal access to economic opportunities and expansion of leadership in decision‐making and political participation for women and for young people.

These reflect the Task Force’s own positions on how Population Dynamics should be framed in the Post-2015 agenda.

Task Force Secretariat Director Maria Jose Alcala facilitated a panel on High Population Growth and Large Youth Populations at the Population Dynamics Global Leadership Meeting on 11-12 March in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where policy-makers and experts gathered to conclude with their recommendations on the Post-2015 agenda.

She encouraged decision-makers to heed the many voices throughout the consultation process calling for governments to invest in sexual and reproductive health and rights and the empowerment of women and young people – with emphasis on adolescent girls, as critical to achieving all development goals, regardless of whether the context is one of high or low fertility.

She emphasized the importance of placing human rights at the centre of population and development policies, and affirming that population control approaches must not be in the menu of public policy options.

Governments at the meeting adopted the Dhaka Declaration, calling for “advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and young people to enable them to make free and informed decisions about reproduction, sexuality, marriage and mobility”, and to ensuring “sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights” and “universal access to reproductive health services”.

Find out more about this consultation