The human rights dimensions of family planning programs have been recognized for nearly half a century and affirmed in numerous declarations, conventions, and treaties endorsed by governments and the international community.
While discourse about respecting, protecting, and fulfilling these rights is growing, a gap persists between human rights rhetoric and integrating rights in family planning policy, programs, and practice. Governments and programs struggle with defining and operationalizing a rights-based approach to family planning. Overall, there is scant evidence on: 1) how to implement rights-based family planning (RBFP) programming, 2) how to measure rights-based programming and outcomes, and 3) the effect on family planning/ reproductive health outcomes of implementing rights-based family planning. Furthermore, literacy about human rights and family planning is generally low at the global, national, and sub-national levels.
Working with a range of stakeholders, the Evidence Project is conducting several activities to address these gaps. Such work is particularly timely given growing global agreement on the need to ensure access to rights-based programming while meeting ambitious goals for new family planning users.