Access to SRHR in EU humanitarian aid: the case of safe abortion
This webinar addresses the plight of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and their access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) under EU humanitarian aid, in particular their access to safe abortion.
In 2015, former VP/HR Mogherini and former Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Mr Stylianides stated that “in cases where a pregnancy threatens a woman’s or girl’s life or causes unbearable suffering, international humanitarian law and/or international human rights law may justify offering a safe abortion rather than perpetuating what amounts to inhumane treatment”. The Commission has continuously reaffirmed this policy since then. However, the provision of abortion services on the ground by humanitarian health actors remains incomplete. This webinar will thus explore possible steps to ensure that the EU can continue to guarantee equality of care to survivors of armed conflict.
The EU Commissioner for Crisis Management will deliver a keynote speech and panelists will share the experiences of humanitarian organisations on the ground.
Q: There is a right to life and a right to health. (to Michael Köhler)
International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Q: I sympathise with the problem but some laws are unjust and they violate rights. Anti-abortion laws kill women and injure many more. Is abortion the only issue where the EU fails to take a position in this situation -- that a law kills women -- or are there others that are comparable? (to Michael Köhler)
Le Planning Familial
Q: Thank you Sophie Int ' Veld for reaffirming the necessity of refering to human rights and women's rights! Some organizations really deny these rights to women and girls in any circumstances, putting their health and life in danger and they can get support from UE! we really need to be clear on abortion and sexual education when we see the attacks on services and health workers at the same time. (to Sophie in 't Veld)
Q: If the EU does not make a point of ensuring that abortion service providers are present in every place where the EU takes humanitarian action, its seemingly neutral position “we neither promote nor prohibit” is simply not neutral. It represents a de facto decision to neglect this issue. The EU has a duty to contract with abortion providers in all humanitarian settings where it takes action. This is not an insurmountable challenge; it is doable and should be done.
Q: By leaving the "decision-making" to your aid implementing partners, the EU is exposing itself to international legal violations on the bases of those decisions. As panelists Akila Radhakrishnan and Rajat Kholsa made clear, various of the protections of international law encompass the provision of sexual and reproductive health services, and abortion. What calculations has the Commission made about these legal risks, and specifically the risks of not upholding the basic human rights of survivors of conflict? (to Michael Köhler)
Q: EU have been funding IHL dissemination targeting a wide range of stakeholders including Military/security forces and armed non-state actors since years. Knowing that rape is used as a weapon during conflict, Does EU get a chance to evaluate this intervention and make sure that targeted stakeholders and military aware of the IHL in places where the dissemination of the law have being disseminated? (to Michael Köhler)
YouAct - European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Q: Much is discussed about accessing the needs of rape survivors. I would like to know what are the efforts being done for guaranteeing young people's access to abortion services and a meaningful youth participation in developing policies, youth-friendly services and advocacy work.
Sonja van Reede
Marie Stopes International
Q: To Mr. Koehler: ECHO is currently funding organisations that are anti-choice and/ or have signed the Mexico City policy, which with the new expansion means they are not providing abortion or even information on abortion at all. How does that align with the statement that women have a right to safe abortion? PS: I also sent this question to Mr. Koehler directly as I didn't know questions had to go through you. Apologies for that. (to Sophie in 't Veld)
Sonja van Reede
Marie Stopes International
Q: ECHO is currently funding organisations that are anti-choice and/ or have signed the Mexico City policy, which with the new expansion means they are not providing abortion or even information on abortion at all. How does that align with the statement that women have a right to safe abortion? (to Michael Köhler)