Sexual and reproductive rights under threat worldwide: Amnesty

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The health and lives of millions of people across the globe are under threat from government failures to guarantee their citizens sexual and reproductive rights, Amnesty International has said.

It is unbelievable that in the twenty-first century some countries are condoning child marriage and marital rape while others are outlawing abortion, sex outside marriage and same-sex sexual activity even punishable by death, said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General while launching a new global campaign 'My Body My Rights'.

"With My Body My Rights, we want to help the next generation realise and claim their sexual and reproductive rights."

"Together we want to send a clear and unequivocal message to governments that this kind of over-reaching control violates human rights and is simply unacceptable", he said.

He said states needed to take positive action not just by getting rid of oppressive laws but also by promoting and protecting sexual and reproductive rights, besides providing information, education, services and ending impunity for sexual violence.

The campaign is about people being empowered to enjoy their sexuality.

It encourages young people around the world to know and demand their right to make decisions about their health, body, sexuality and reproduction without state control, fear, coercion or discrimination.

It also seeks to remind world leaders of their obligations to take positive action, including through access to health services.

The campaign was launched at a women meeting in rural communities in Nepal - where many girls are forced to marry as children and more than half a million women suffer from uterine prolapse or fallen womb, as a result of continuous pregnancy and hard labour.

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