Last Tuesday, the Amnesty International Student Group in Groningen hosted an event on Womens’ Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Our research fellow Lucía Berro Pizzarossa was invited as a speaker and gave an overview of the topic and discussed current challenges.
The lecture served as an introduction to the concept of gender as a social determinant of health and provided a brief analysis of the existing legal framework—both regionally and internationally— on Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Lucía discussed the evolution of the topic of abortion in the international arena, the discussions now happening at UN level, the different approaches adopted and the relevant actors. She analyzed the case law on abortion rights before the UN monitoring bodies, the European Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
After the lecture the floor was opened for questions and Lucía discussed recent challenges. Firstly, she analyzed the criminalization of abortion in countries with liberal laws are in force such as Poland, Latvia and Spain. She discussed these developments in light of the prohibition to adopt non-retrogressive measures (the ICESCR). Secondly, our fellow members debated the initiatives in Australia to enforce buffer zones; these abortion buffer zone laws make it illegal for anti-abortion protesters to harass or film women going in or coming out of the clinics in which SRHR services are provided. Lastly, Lucía focused on the challenges that the Zika outbreak has presented to the Latin American region. She argued that the State’s response so far advising women to delay pregnancy is not only inadequate and irresponsible, but also breaches the international obligations adopted by the countries in the region.
The Amnesty International Student Group in Groningen has 13 committees and over 70 active members. Through their active presence in the local community they have managed to spread awareness about the ongoing human rights violations worldwide and provide a platform for young activists to engage in current discussions. Every second week the AISG organises lectures about Human Rights also offering a platform for open debate.