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Palestine

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Statement on Israel’s offensive in Rafah, Gaza 

Another horrendous attack by Israel on displacement camps in Rafah, Gaza, has occurred this week, ignoring the orders of the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to halt its offensive.

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PFPPA
media center

| 30 May 2024

Statement on Israel’s offensive in Rafah, Gaza 

Another horrendous attack by Israel on displacement camps in Rafah, Gaza, has occurred this week, ignoring the orders of the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to halt its offensive. Thousands of innocent people are sheltering for their lives in this area, having been told to move there for their safety by Israeli authorities. Instead, they were attacked as they slept, with men, women and children facing nightmarish deaths.    The deaths, displacement and destruction in Gaza must stop. We stand in support of Palestinians who have endured decades of apartheid, land dispossession, and gross human rights violations. The injustices faced by Palestinians are deeply rooted in colonialisation and lack of accountability. Our international systems, which were created to ensure international rule of war, must apply evenly to all member states – including those in the Global North.    Over 37,000 people have now lost their lives. Women and girls that survive are facing a myriad of challenges, deprived of sexual and reproductive health services, sanitary and hygiene products. There must now finally be a critical mass of people of conscience saying enough is enough. Every single person needs to mobilise to end this, by calling on their governments to demand unhindered humanitarian aid access, and to call to trial any governments who have supplied weapons to Israel, aided in Israel’s impunity, and failed to call for a ceasefire.   We call for an immediate end to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah and the ongoing atrocities across the Gaza Strip.   Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said:   “Every second, every minute that passes a horrific and devastating situation becomes worse. More and more people are being killed and seriously injured. Pregnant women are fearing the worse for their own fate and that of their pregnancies, what should be a happy time for expecting mothers has become for thousands a living nightmare.   Women and girls are living in a state of anxiety and trauma of getting their period and not having access to menstrual pads, clean water or any sort of hygiene supplies. We need all people and governments to take a stand for what is right for humanity recognizing that the Palestinian people have a right to live with dignity and respect with full access to safe and sufficient health care. There is no justification, that this tragedy continues for millions of Palestinians in Gaza. An immediate and full ceasefire is the only option.”  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:    “In Rafah, nearly all hospitals in Rafah have been forcibly evacuated, and are either out of service or barely functioning, leaving no possibility for the provision of or access to medical care for pregnant women about to give birth.    We are inspired by our health workers in Gaza, who continue to provide sexual and repreoductive healthcare to those in need, but our concern for them, and all Palestinians, will not stop until a permanent ceasefire is reached.    All our humanity is on trial right now. Our organisation is committed to anti-colonialism, anti-racism, and liberation for all, we will speak out in defence of civilians facing peril every day. Silence is not an option.”   For media enquiries, or to speak to our staff member in Palestine, please contact [email protected] Click here to donate to IPPF's emergency appeal for Palestine. About PFPPA Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) is locally registered as an independent, non-profit and non-governmental association with headquarters in Jerusalem. PFPPA has service delivery points located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip, which has yet to be relocated after it was destroyed following an Israeli airstrike on 8 October. Furthermore, and in cooperation with local partners, PFPPA is also responsible for 3 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. About the International Planned Parenthood Federation IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.   Photo credit: IPPF/Samar Abu Elouf/Palestine

PFPPA
media_center

| 30 May 2024

Statement on Israel’s offensive in Rafah, Gaza 

Another horrendous attack by Israel on displacement camps in Rafah, Gaza, has occurred this week, ignoring the orders of the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to halt its offensive. Thousands of innocent people are sheltering for their lives in this area, having been told to move there for their safety by Israeli authorities. Instead, they were attacked as they slept, with men, women and children facing nightmarish deaths.    The deaths, displacement and destruction in Gaza must stop. We stand in support of Palestinians who have endured decades of apartheid, land dispossession, and gross human rights violations. The injustices faced by Palestinians are deeply rooted in colonialisation and lack of accountability. Our international systems, which were created to ensure international rule of war, must apply evenly to all member states – including those in the Global North.    Over 37,000 people have now lost their lives. Women and girls that survive are facing a myriad of challenges, deprived of sexual and reproductive health services, sanitary and hygiene products. There must now finally be a critical mass of people of conscience saying enough is enough. Every single person needs to mobilise to end this, by calling on their governments to demand unhindered humanitarian aid access, and to call to trial any governments who have supplied weapons to Israel, aided in Israel’s impunity, and failed to call for a ceasefire.   We call for an immediate end to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah and the ongoing atrocities across the Gaza Strip.   Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said:   “Every second, every minute that passes a horrific and devastating situation becomes worse. More and more people are being killed and seriously injured. Pregnant women are fearing the worse for their own fate and that of their pregnancies, what should be a happy time for expecting mothers has become for thousands a living nightmare.   Women and girls are living in a state of anxiety and trauma of getting their period and not having access to menstrual pads, clean water or any sort of hygiene supplies. We need all people and governments to take a stand for what is right for humanity recognizing that the Palestinian people have a right to live with dignity and respect with full access to safe and sufficient health care. There is no justification, that this tragedy continues for millions of Palestinians in Gaza. An immediate and full ceasefire is the only option.”  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:    “In Rafah, nearly all hospitals in Rafah have been forcibly evacuated, and are either out of service or barely functioning, leaving no possibility for the provision of or access to medical care for pregnant women about to give birth.    We are inspired by our health workers in Gaza, who continue to provide sexual and repreoductive healthcare to those in need, but our concern for them, and all Palestinians, will not stop until a permanent ceasefire is reached.    All our humanity is on trial right now. Our organisation is committed to anti-colonialism, anti-racism, and liberation for all, we will speak out in defence of civilians facing peril every day. Silence is not an option.”   For media enquiries, or to speak to our staff member in Palestine, please contact [email protected] Click here to donate to IPPF's emergency appeal for Palestine. About PFPPA Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) is locally registered as an independent, non-profit and non-governmental association with headquarters in Jerusalem. PFPPA has service delivery points located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip, which has yet to be relocated after it was destroyed following an Israeli airstrike on 8 October. Furthermore, and in cooperation with local partners, PFPPA is also responsible for 3 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. About the International Planned Parenthood Federation IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.   Photo credit: IPPF/Samar Abu Elouf/Palestine

Nepal humanitarian
media center

| 24 May 2024

IPPF response to announcement of UK general election

London, 23 May 2024: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday announced the next general election will take place on 4 July 2024, bringing with it an opportunity for the elected government to restore UK aid spending to pre-pandemic levels.   In 2023, UK aid spend was £15.3 billion, an increase of £2.5 billion (20.2 per cent) on 2022, representing 0.58% of gross national income. However, this still falls short of the UN target for developed countries to allocate a minimum of 0.7% of their GNI to overseas development assistance (ODA). The UK government has a statutory duty to meet this target.   In addition to this, the UK is spending over a third of its aid budget inside the UK; the party-elect could and should go further to restore its reputation and international impact, including making clear that the parliamentary and legal commitment is to spend aid internationally on poverty.  The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) states it is committed to gender equality and working with partners around the world to ‘shift the dial’ on progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The dial can only be shifted when long-term commitment is taken seriously – including fiscally – to SRHR partners.    The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is grateful for FCDO’s commitment to the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme, and its successor WISH Dividend. This has enabled IPPF, and our Member Associations, to expand our footprint and service delivery and ensure regular capacity building support to governments.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:  “This election will take place at a time when the world is experiencing more inequality, more divisiveness, and more crises than ever before.   “Cuts to bilateral and multilateral ODA on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) since 2020 have had a negative impact upon the aid recipients of SRHR programmes, particularly on women and girls and those belonging to marginalised groups. Nearly every UK development partner has faced four successive years of cuts.   “Previous aid cuts have left millions of women around the world with less control over their bodies and their futures. Our hope is that the successful party in this election understands the key role of the UK in empowering women and girls and providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need. It is critical now more than ever that the UK government restore its aid budget to at least 0.7% as soon as possible if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts.”  For media enquiries and to arrange interviews with staff, please contact [email protected]     About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.    For over 72 years, IPPF - through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners - has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context.  We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We boldly stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.   

Nepal humanitarian
media_center

| 24 May 2024

IPPF response to announcement of UK general election

London, 23 May 2024: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday announced the next general election will take place on 4 July 2024, bringing with it an opportunity for the elected government to restore UK aid spending to pre-pandemic levels.   In 2023, UK aid spend was £15.3 billion, an increase of £2.5 billion (20.2 per cent) on 2022, representing 0.58% of gross national income. However, this still falls short of the UN target for developed countries to allocate a minimum of 0.7% of their GNI to overseas development assistance (ODA). The UK government has a statutory duty to meet this target.   In addition to this, the UK is spending over a third of its aid budget inside the UK; the party-elect could and should go further to restore its reputation and international impact, including making clear that the parliamentary and legal commitment is to spend aid internationally on poverty.  The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) states it is committed to gender equality and working with partners around the world to ‘shift the dial’ on progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The dial can only be shifted when long-term commitment is taken seriously – including fiscally – to SRHR partners.    The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is grateful for FCDO’s commitment to the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme, and its successor WISH Dividend. This has enabled IPPF, and our Member Associations, to expand our footprint and service delivery and ensure regular capacity building support to governments.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:  “This election will take place at a time when the world is experiencing more inequality, more divisiveness, and more crises than ever before.   “Cuts to bilateral and multilateral ODA on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) since 2020 have had a negative impact upon the aid recipients of SRHR programmes, particularly on women and girls and those belonging to marginalised groups. Nearly every UK development partner has faced four successive years of cuts.   “Previous aid cuts have left millions of women around the world with less control over their bodies and their futures. Our hope is that the successful party in this election understands the key role of the UK in empowering women and girls and providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need. It is critical now more than ever that the UK government restore its aid budget to at least 0.7% as soon as possible if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts.”  For media enquiries and to arrange interviews with staff, please contact [email protected]     About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.    For over 72 years, IPPF - through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners - has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context.  We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We boldly stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.   

Intersex flag
media center

| 04 April 2024

Human rights victory for intersex persons

Geneva, 4 April - The International Planned Parenthood Federation celebrates the historic adoption of the first ever United Nations resolution on the human rights of intersex persons! This landmark resolution advances efforts to combat the unique human rights violations that intersex persons face and the obligation of states to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all people, without discrimination of any kind.   The resolution, Combating Discrimination, Violence, and Harmful Practices against Intersex Persons, was adopted by a vote of 24 in favor and 23 abstentions, with no votes against it. The resolution acknowledges that intersex people exist in all societies and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in all areas of life. It specifically expresses grave concern about violence and harmful practices that intersex persons face, including children, including unnecessary or deferrable medical interventions made without full, free and informed consent. The resolution calls on states to combat violence, discrimination and harmful practices against intersex people, address the root causes such as stereotypes and stigma, and work to realize intersex people’s human right to health. This is a major advancement in the work of the Human Rights Council to ensure all people can exercise their human rights free from violence and discrimination.  Critically, intersex people and organizations were involved in every step of this initiative, including through powerful interventions in negotiations. IPPF applauds Finland, Chile, South Africa and Australia for championing a resolution which centered the priorities, terminology and lived experiences of intersex persons themselves. IPPF is proud to have worked in solidarity with civil society partners and Member States through evidence-based information, outreach and strategy in order to achieve success in this ground-breaking to guarantee the human rights of intersex persons.  Estelle Wagner, IPPF’s Senior International Advocacy Adviser in Geneva said: “The fact that not a single Member State voted against this resolution demonstrates the overwhelming global support for the human rights of intersex persons. This is a momentous achievement of the intersex community and we are so proud to stand in solidarity at this historic moment.”  As part of its ongoing commitment to advancing LGBTQI+ rights, IPPF is committed to continuing to fight for intersex people’s human rights at every level, from the UN to the local, to guarantee their right to live free from violence and discrimination.   For media enquiries, please contact [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. We are a movement of 150 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners with a presence in over 146 countries. Building on a proud history of 70 years of achievement, we commit to lead a locally owned, globally connected civil society movement that provides and enables services and champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, especially the under-served. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Intersex flag
media_center

| 04 April 2024

Human rights victory for intersex persons

Geneva, 4 April - The International Planned Parenthood Federation celebrates the historic adoption of the first ever United Nations resolution on the human rights of intersex persons! This landmark resolution advances efforts to combat the unique human rights violations that intersex persons face and the obligation of states to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all people, without discrimination of any kind.   The resolution, Combating Discrimination, Violence, and Harmful Practices against Intersex Persons, was adopted by a vote of 24 in favor and 23 abstentions, with no votes against it. The resolution acknowledges that intersex people exist in all societies and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in all areas of life. It specifically expresses grave concern about violence and harmful practices that intersex persons face, including children, including unnecessary or deferrable medical interventions made without full, free and informed consent. The resolution calls on states to combat violence, discrimination and harmful practices against intersex people, address the root causes such as stereotypes and stigma, and work to realize intersex people’s human right to health. This is a major advancement in the work of the Human Rights Council to ensure all people can exercise their human rights free from violence and discrimination.  Critically, intersex people and organizations were involved in every step of this initiative, including through powerful interventions in negotiations. IPPF applauds Finland, Chile, South Africa and Australia for championing a resolution which centered the priorities, terminology and lived experiences of intersex persons themselves. IPPF is proud to have worked in solidarity with civil society partners and Member States through evidence-based information, outreach and strategy in order to achieve success in this ground-breaking to guarantee the human rights of intersex persons.  Estelle Wagner, IPPF’s Senior International Advocacy Adviser in Geneva said: “The fact that not a single Member State voted against this resolution demonstrates the overwhelming global support for the human rights of intersex persons. This is a momentous achievement of the intersex community and we are so proud to stand in solidarity at this historic moment.”  As part of its ongoing commitment to advancing LGBTQI+ rights, IPPF is committed to continuing to fight for intersex people’s human rights at every level, from the UN to the local, to guarantee their right to live free from violence and discrimination.   For media enquiries, please contact [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. We are a movement of 150 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners with a presence in over 146 countries. Building on a proud history of 70 years of achievement, we commit to lead a locally owned, globally connected civil society movement that provides and enables services and champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, especially the under-served. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Uganda LGBTQI
media center

| 15 March 2024

Uganda: denying NGO registration fails democratic principles

Geneva/London, 15 March 2024 - The Ugandan Court of Appeal’s decision to deny Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) legal registration fails the democratic principles enshrined in the country’s Constitution and should be reversed, ILGA World and The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today.  Despite having worked to protect the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions for more than twenty years, Sexual Minorities Uganda has repeatedly been denied legal recognition: first in 2012 and then in 2018, when the High Court upheld the initial decision by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. Six years later, in March 2024, the Court of Appeal shut down SMUG’s hope to register and be recognised as an independent legal entity under the law. “For civil society organisations working on sexual, gender and bodily diversity issues, registration allows them to serve more effectively those parts of societies that States fail to protect,” said ILGA World and IPPF. “Without this opportunity, they cannot conduct their activities formally or receive funding for their work. Ultimately, this decision restricts freedom of association and further pushes those who are already targeted by discriminatory laws to the margins of society.” “The Constitution of Uganda,” continue ILGA World and IPPF, “claims that ‘The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.’ Ultimately, the extremely disappointing decision to reject SMUG’s registration goes in the entirely opposite direction. We are in solidarity with the organisation and join them in calling out this missed opportunity to protect better the rights of some of the most vulnerable populations in Ugandan society.” In Uganda, registration is banned for those organisations with goals that allegedly are “in contravention of the laws”. In January 2023, a report by the NGO Bureau detailed how the agency investigated and acted upon several organisations for promoting the rights of LGBTI people and recommended authorities take stricter measures against NGOs that "promote LGBTIQ activities" — including stepping up the criminalisation of activism. A few months later, the Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into law, further cracking down also on organisations found guilty of “promoting homosexuality”. These actions against LGBTI human rights NGOs are part of a larger crackdown on Ugandan civil society. In November 2019, the Ugandan government shut down more than 12,000 organisations. Such actions have since continued, with as many as 54 organisations suspended in a single day in August 2021. “Across the world, State and non-state actors are mobilising voter bases by attacking our identities and freedoms: we see the same tactics at play here, too,” ILGA World and IPPF conclude. “At this critical time, politicians need to focus on the things that matter – a stable economy and vibrant communities — rather than attacking those who work to support vulnerable parts of societies. LGBTI people and cisgender heterosexual women and girls are marginalised and excluded by policies, legislation and narratives that strip away reproductive rights and criminalise sexuality and gender. But our communities stand united to defend and secure democratic and economic rights for all.”   Notes to editors: ILGA World is a global federation of more than 2,000 organisations from 170 countries and territories, advocating for the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics worldwide. https://ilga.org  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952, and today, it is a movement of 150 member associations and collaborative partners with a presence in over 146 countries. https://www.ippf.org/    Contacts for media enquiries: ILGA World: Daniele Paletta, communications manager, [email protected] IPPF: Alice Ackermann, communications adviser, [email protected]     

Uganda LGBTQI
media_center

| 15 March 2024

Uganda: denying NGO registration fails democratic principles

Geneva/London, 15 March 2024 - The Ugandan Court of Appeal’s decision to deny Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) legal registration fails the democratic principles enshrined in the country’s Constitution and should be reversed, ILGA World and The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today.  Despite having worked to protect the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions for more than twenty years, Sexual Minorities Uganda has repeatedly been denied legal recognition: first in 2012 and then in 2018, when the High Court upheld the initial decision by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. Six years later, in March 2024, the Court of Appeal shut down SMUG’s hope to register and be recognised as an independent legal entity under the law. “For civil society organisations working on sexual, gender and bodily diversity issues, registration allows them to serve more effectively those parts of societies that States fail to protect,” said ILGA World and IPPF. “Without this opportunity, they cannot conduct their activities formally or receive funding for their work. Ultimately, this decision restricts freedom of association and further pushes those who are already targeted by discriminatory laws to the margins of society.” “The Constitution of Uganda,” continue ILGA World and IPPF, “claims that ‘The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.’ Ultimately, the extremely disappointing decision to reject SMUG’s registration goes in the entirely opposite direction. We are in solidarity with the organisation and join them in calling out this missed opportunity to protect better the rights of some of the most vulnerable populations in Ugandan society.” In Uganda, registration is banned for those organisations with goals that allegedly are “in contravention of the laws”. In January 2023, a report by the NGO Bureau detailed how the agency investigated and acted upon several organisations for promoting the rights of LGBTI people and recommended authorities take stricter measures against NGOs that "promote LGBTIQ activities" — including stepping up the criminalisation of activism. A few months later, the Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into law, further cracking down also on organisations found guilty of “promoting homosexuality”. These actions against LGBTI human rights NGOs are part of a larger crackdown on Ugandan civil society. In November 2019, the Ugandan government shut down more than 12,000 organisations. Such actions have since continued, with as many as 54 organisations suspended in a single day in August 2021. “Across the world, State and non-state actors are mobilising voter bases by attacking our identities and freedoms: we see the same tactics at play here, too,” ILGA World and IPPF conclude. “At this critical time, politicians need to focus on the things that matter – a stable economy and vibrant communities — rather than attacking those who work to support vulnerable parts of societies. LGBTI people and cisgender heterosexual women and girls are marginalised and excluded by policies, legislation and narratives that strip away reproductive rights and criminalise sexuality and gender. But our communities stand united to defend and secure democratic and economic rights for all.”   Notes to editors: ILGA World is a global federation of more than 2,000 organisations from 170 countries and territories, advocating for the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics worldwide. https://ilga.org  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952, and today, it is a movement of 150 member associations and collaborative partners with a presence in over 146 countries. https://www.ippf.org/    Contacts for media enquiries: ILGA World: Daniele Paletta, communications manager, [email protected] IPPF: Alice Ackermann, communications adviser, [email protected]     

Sudanese woman
media center

| 01 February 2024

Cases on the rise and vital life-saving treatments running low for Ethiopian refugees in Sudan living with HIV/AIDS

Since the influx of Ethiopian refugees into Sudan began in November 2020 following military unrest in the Tigray region, most humanitarian assistance has been focused on food, shelter, and primary health services. In response to this, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) established two clinics in Um Rakouba and Tunaydbah refugee camps to meet the needs of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This includes comprehensive care of HIV/AIDS, allowing people living with HIV (PLHIV) to continue antiretroviral therapy (ARV) with privacy and confidentiality. Their services also involve the prevention and syndromic management of other sexually transmitted infections.   The current emergency situation in Sudan has led to an estimated displacement of 7.6 million people across Sudan's 18 states, with over 13,000 reported deaths. This crisis is causing serious challenges to the already stretched health system.  The increase of internally displaced people (IDPs) during the last nine months has also affected the provision of health services for the general population.    The Government of Sudan, with the assistance of national and international partners, is going to huge efforts to ensure health coverage for IDPs and refugees. However, among the current national plans and funding, healthcare for HIV positive refugees is not adequately addressed. SFPA is also facing challenges providing SRH care, especially in the refugee camps, as they struggle to keep up with the numbers of IDPs - which are increasing dramatically by the day.   SFPA provides SRH services in collaboration with the Sudan National AIDS Control Program (SNAP) and Al Gadarif SMOH. The total number of refugees living with HIV has now reached a tipping point, with 758 current cases recorded so far. So far, all clients have been able to regularly receive their ARV treatment. Many of them have reached zero viral load due to good adherence to treatment, meaning that the levels of HIV in the body are so low that the virus cannot be passed on.   However, due to a shortfall of funding and resources, the risk of the discontinuation or interruption of ARVs may result in viral rebound, immune decompensation, and the progression of the virus.  The higher percentage of newly discovered cases (10.4% of newly arrived refugees tested positive to HIV) also indicates that there is a new spread of HIV, not only amongst the youth population inside the camps, but also host communities.    Given the current condition of refugee camps in Al Gadarif State, failure to adequately provide for people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent further transmissions may lead to catastrophic outcomes - not only in the camps but nationwide.          About the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA)   SFPA is a key SRH service provider in Sudan through its 15 branches covering 14 states1with a solid track record of delivering services in humanitarian settings. SFPA continues to fulfil its mandate and commitment to provide essential SRH and non- SRH services to refugees through an Australia Aid-supported emergency response to Ethiopian refugee crisis from 2021-2022 and continued with support from the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) until 31 December 2023, providing health services including testing, counselling, prevention of mother to child transmission, care and treatment services and ensure the enrolment of PLHIV in the ARVs regimen.     Banner credits: IPPF/Hannah Maule-ffinch/Sudan

Sudanese woman
media_center

| 05 February 2024

Cases on the rise and vital life-saving treatments running low for Ethiopian refugees in Sudan living with HIV/AIDS

Since the influx of Ethiopian refugees into Sudan began in November 2020 following military unrest in the Tigray region, most humanitarian assistance has been focused on food, shelter, and primary health services. In response to this, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) established two clinics in Um Rakouba and Tunaydbah refugee camps to meet the needs of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This includes comprehensive care of HIV/AIDS, allowing people living with HIV (PLHIV) to continue antiretroviral therapy (ARV) with privacy and confidentiality. Their services also involve the prevention and syndromic management of other sexually transmitted infections.   The current emergency situation in Sudan has led to an estimated displacement of 7.6 million people across Sudan's 18 states, with over 13,000 reported deaths. This crisis is causing serious challenges to the already stretched health system.  The increase of internally displaced people (IDPs) during the last nine months has also affected the provision of health services for the general population.    The Government of Sudan, with the assistance of national and international partners, is going to huge efforts to ensure health coverage for IDPs and refugees. However, among the current national plans and funding, healthcare for HIV positive refugees is not adequately addressed. SFPA is also facing challenges providing SRH care, especially in the refugee camps, as they struggle to keep up with the numbers of IDPs - which are increasing dramatically by the day.   SFPA provides SRH services in collaboration with the Sudan National AIDS Control Program (SNAP) and Al Gadarif SMOH. The total number of refugees living with HIV has now reached a tipping point, with 758 current cases recorded so far. So far, all clients have been able to regularly receive their ARV treatment. Many of them have reached zero viral load due to good adherence to treatment, meaning that the levels of HIV in the body are so low that the virus cannot be passed on.   However, due to a shortfall of funding and resources, the risk of the discontinuation or interruption of ARVs may result in viral rebound, immune decompensation, and the progression of the virus.  The higher percentage of newly discovered cases (10.4% of newly arrived refugees tested positive to HIV) also indicates that there is a new spread of HIV, not only amongst the youth population inside the camps, but also host communities.    Given the current condition of refugee camps in Al Gadarif State, failure to adequately provide for people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent further transmissions may lead to catastrophic outcomes - not only in the camps but nationwide.          About the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA)   SFPA is a key SRH service provider in Sudan through its 15 branches covering 14 states1with a solid track record of delivering services in humanitarian settings. SFPA continues to fulfil its mandate and commitment to provide essential SRH and non- SRH services to refugees through an Australia Aid-supported emergency response to Ethiopian refugee crisis from 2021-2022 and continued with support from the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) until 31 December 2023, providing health services including testing, counselling, prevention of mother to child transmission, care and treatment services and ensure the enrolment of PLHIV in the ARVs regimen.     Banner credits: IPPF/Hannah Maule-ffinch/Sudan

sudan-hands
media center

| 04 December 2023

Rapes, unplanned pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence on the rise in Sudan’s forgotten war

Khartoum, 4 December 2023 — As the war in Sudan enters its eight month with no end in sight, widespread conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has continued unabated, including reports of mass rapes, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment which demonstrate how sexual violence is being used as a tool of war to subjugate, terrorise and punish women and girls. Since the war between Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces erupted on April 15th, reports of ethnically targeted sexual and gender-based violence have escalated across Sudan, leading to a surge in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague said in July it is investigating the hostilities in Darfur, including reports of killings, rapes and crimes against children. Rape has often been used as a weapon of war over the years in Sudan, human rights groups have said. Sexual violence is prohibited in conflict, and the accounts of rape could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prevailing conflict and social unrest in various regions of Sudan have created an environment rife for SGBV, leaving countless individuals exposed to the gravest violations of their most intimate rights. Deeply disturbing accounts of gang rapes, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of sexual, physical and psychological violence have emerged, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare for survivors. IPPF’s local member association in Sudan, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) has been providing these services across Sudan since the outbreak of the war, including counselling, medical assistance, and referrals for survivors of SGBV. Despite unprovoked attacks on six SFPA facilities which have so far killed one youth volunteer and injured numerous clients and staff, as well as interrupted the delivery of some health services, SFPA has continued to work in conflict-affected areas through their large network of community based distributors and mobile clinics. Dr Seham Jaber, the director of Digital Health Interventions and Services at SFPA said:  “We have noticed escalating rates of sexual and gender-based violence in Sudan since the outbreak of the war in April. Violence against women and girls is occurring at the hands of militants, as well as an increase in domestic and intimate partner violence, including rape. Young girls and boys are living in overcrowded shelters are reporting to us cases of sexual harassment and abuse." Confidentiality, sensitivity and compassion are crucial to SFPA’s work, because many survivors of sexual violence don’t seek medical treatment due to the fear of social stigma and reprisals. SFPA's website and hotline have seen a considerable increase in traffic for reports of SGBV from the community since the start of the war. In response, SFPA is also running community awareness and education campaigns on SGBV, and is enlisting the support of local Imams to promote gender equality, and foster a culture of respect and consent. For media inquiries or to speak to one of our staff in Sudan, please contact [email protected]  About the Sudan Family Planning Association The Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) was established in 1965 by pioneers in obstetrics and gynecology in response to increases in maternal, neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity. Sudan is a country in great need of frontline sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. In 2022, SFPA provided 26 million services through 24 clinics, 261 associated clinics, and 37 mobile clinics. Since the start of the war on 15 April 2023; the Association teams have been successful in providing 14,706,000 services through 24 SFPA facilities , mobile clinics, mobile teams ,CBDs and partners clinics . SFPA was able to assist 1,145 deliveries under bombardment and provided 167,000 treatments of HIV&AIDS “HIV screening and care for PLHIV” through its static clinics. Mobile clinics are used to offer integrated SRH services including HIV/STI services and condom distribution, STI testing and management, HIV testing and treatment for HIV opportunistic infections, referrals for ARV treatment including PMTCT and awareness sessions both at mobile clinics and at the community level by community health promoters and community base distributors (CBDs). About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.

sudan-hands
media_center

| 04 December 2023

Rapes, unplanned pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence on the rise in Sudan’s forgotten war

Khartoum, 4 December 2023 — As the war in Sudan enters its eight month with no end in sight, widespread conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has continued unabated, including reports of mass rapes, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment which demonstrate how sexual violence is being used as a tool of war to subjugate, terrorise and punish women and girls. Since the war between Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces erupted on April 15th, reports of ethnically targeted sexual and gender-based violence have escalated across Sudan, leading to a surge in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague said in July it is investigating the hostilities in Darfur, including reports of killings, rapes and crimes against children. Rape has often been used as a weapon of war over the years in Sudan, human rights groups have said. Sexual violence is prohibited in conflict, and the accounts of rape could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prevailing conflict and social unrest in various regions of Sudan have created an environment rife for SGBV, leaving countless individuals exposed to the gravest violations of their most intimate rights. Deeply disturbing accounts of gang rapes, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of sexual, physical and psychological violence have emerged, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare for survivors. IPPF’s local member association in Sudan, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) has been providing these services across Sudan since the outbreak of the war, including counselling, medical assistance, and referrals for survivors of SGBV. Despite unprovoked attacks on six SFPA facilities which have so far killed one youth volunteer and injured numerous clients and staff, as well as interrupted the delivery of some health services, SFPA has continued to work in conflict-affected areas through their large network of community based distributors and mobile clinics. Dr Seham Jaber, the director of Digital Health Interventions and Services at SFPA said:  “We have noticed escalating rates of sexual and gender-based violence in Sudan since the outbreak of the war in April. Violence against women and girls is occurring at the hands of militants, as well as an increase in domestic and intimate partner violence, including rape. Young girls and boys are living in overcrowded shelters are reporting to us cases of sexual harassment and abuse." Confidentiality, sensitivity and compassion are crucial to SFPA’s work, because many survivors of sexual violence don’t seek medical treatment due to the fear of social stigma and reprisals. SFPA's website and hotline have seen a considerable increase in traffic for reports of SGBV from the community since the start of the war. In response, SFPA is also running community awareness and education campaigns on SGBV, and is enlisting the support of local Imams to promote gender equality, and foster a culture of respect and consent. For media inquiries or to speak to one of our staff in Sudan, please contact [email protected]  About the Sudan Family Planning Association The Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) was established in 1965 by pioneers in obstetrics and gynecology in response to increases in maternal, neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity. Sudan is a country in great need of frontline sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. In 2022, SFPA provided 26 million services through 24 clinics, 261 associated clinics, and 37 mobile clinics. Since the start of the war on 15 April 2023; the Association teams have been successful in providing 14,706,000 services through 24 SFPA facilities , mobile clinics, mobile teams ,CBDs and partners clinics . SFPA was able to assist 1,145 deliveries under bombardment and provided 167,000 treatments of HIV&AIDS “HIV screening and care for PLHIV” through its static clinics. Mobile clinics are used to offer integrated SRH services including HIV/STI services and condom distribution, STI testing and management, HIV testing and treatment for HIV opportunistic infections, referrals for ARV treatment including PMTCT and awareness sessions both at mobile clinics and at the community level by community health promoters and community base distributors (CBDs). About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.

PFPPA
media center

| 30 May 2024

Statement on Israel’s offensive in Rafah, Gaza 

Another horrendous attack by Israel on displacement camps in Rafah, Gaza, has occurred this week, ignoring the orders of the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to halt its offensive. Thousands of innocent people are sheltering for their lives in this area, having been told to move there for their safety by Israeli authorities. Instead, they were attacked as they slept, with men, women and children facing nightmarish deaths.    The deaths, displacement and destruction in Gaza must stop. We stand in support of Palestinians who have endured decades of apartheid, land dispossession, and gross human rights violations. The injustices faced by Palestinians are deeply rooted in colonialisation and lack of accountability. Our international systems, which were created to ensure international rule of war, must apply evenly to all member states – including those in the Global North.    Over 37,000 people have now lost their lives. Women and girls that survive are facing a myriad of challenges, deprived of sexual and reproductive health services, sanitary and hygiene products. There must now finally be a critical mass of people of conscience saying enough is enough. Every single person needs to mobilise to end this, by calling on their governments to demand unhindered humanitarian aid access, and to call to trial any governments who have supplied weapons to Israel, aided in Israel’s impunity, and failed to call for a ceasefire.   We call for an immediate end to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah and the ongoing atrocities across the Gaza Strip.   Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said:   “Every second, every minute that passes a horrific and devastating situation becomes worse. More and more people are being killed and seriously injured. Pregnant women are fearing the worse for their own fate and that of their pregnancies, what should be a happy time for expecting mothers has become for thousands a living nightmare.   Women and girls are living in a state of anxiety and trauma of getting their period and not having access to menstrual pads, clean water or any sort of hygiene supplies. We need all people and governments to take a stand for what is right for humanity recognizing that the Palestinian people have a right to live with dignity and respect with full access to safe and sufficient health care. There is no justification, that this tragedy continues for millions of Palestinians in Gaza. An immediate and full ceasefire is the only option.”  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:    “In Rafah, nearly all hospitals in Rafah have been forcibly evacuated, and are either out of service or barely functioning, leaving no possibility for the provision of or access to medical care for pregnant women about to give birth.    We are inspired by our health workers in Gaza, who continue to provide sexual and repreoductive healthcare to those in need, but our concern for them, and all Palestinians, will not stop until a permanent ceasefire is reached.    All our humanity is on trial right now. Our organisation is committed to anti-colonialism, anti-racism, and liberation for all, we will speak out in defence of civilians facing peril every day. Silence is not an option.”   For media enquiries, or to speak to our staff member in Palestine, please contact [email protected] Click here to donate to IPPF's emergency appeal for Palestine. About PFPPA Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) is locally registered as an independent, non-profit and non-governmental association with headquarters in Jerusalem. PFPPA has service delivery points located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip, which has yet to be relocated after it was destroyed following an Israeli airstrike on 8 October. Furthermore, and in cooperation with local partners, PFPPA is also responsible for 3 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. About the International Planned Parenthood Federation IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.   Photo credit: IPPF/Samar Abu Elouf/Palestine

PFPPA
media_center

| 30 May 2024

Statement on Israel’s offensive in Rafah, Gaza 

Another horrendous attack by Israel on displacement camps in Rafah, Gaza, has occurred this week, ignoring the orders of the UN’s top court, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), to halt its offensive. Thousands of innocent people are sheltering for their lives in this area, having been told to move there for their safety by Israeli authorities. Instead, they were attacked as they slept, with men, women and children facing nightmarish deaths.    The deaths, displacement and destruction in Gaza must stop. We stand in support of Palestinians who have endured decades of apartheid, land dispossession, and gross human rights violations. The injustices faced by Palestinians are deeply rooted in colonialisation and lack of accountability. Our international systems, which were created to ensure international rule of war, must apply evenly to all member states – including those in the Global North.    Over 37,000 people have now lost their lives. Women and girls that survive are facing a myriad of challenges, deprived of sexual and reproductive health services, sanitary and hygiene products. There must now finally be a critical mass of people of conscience saying enough is enough. Every single person needs to mobilise to end this, by calling on their governments to demand unhindered humanitarian aid access, and to call to trial any governments who have supplied weapons to Israel, aided in Israel’s impunity, and failed to call for a ceasefire.   We call for an immediate end to Israel’s military offensive in Rafah and the ongoing atrocities across the Gaza Strip.   Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said:   “Every second, every minute that passes a horrific and devastating situation becomes worse. More and more people are being killed and seriously injured. Pregnant women are fearing the worse for their own fate and that of their pregnancies, what should be a happy time for expecting mothers has become for thousands a living nightmare.   Women and girls are living in a state of anxiety and trauma of getting their period and not having access to menstrual pads, clean water or any sort of hygiene supplies. We need all people and governments to take a stand for what is right for humanity recognizing that the Palestinian people have a right to live with dignity and respect with full access to safe and sufficient health care. There is no justification, that this tragedy continues for millions of Palestinians in Gaza. An immediate and full ceasefire is the only option.”  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:    “In Rafah, nearly all hospitals in Rafah have been forcibly evacuated, and are either out of service or barely functioning, leaving no possibility for the provision of or access to medical care for pregnant women about to give birth.    We are inspired by our health workers in Gaza, who continue to provide sexual and repreoductive healthcare to those in need, but our concern for them, and all Palestinians, will not stop until a permanent ceasefire is reached.    All our humanity is on trial right now. Our organisation is committed to anti-colonialism, anti-racism, and liberation for all, we will speak out in defence of civilians facing peril every day. Silence is not an option.”   For media enquiries, or to speak to our staff member in Palestine, please contact [email protected] Click here to donate to IPPF's emergency appeal for Palestine. About PFPPA Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) is locally registered as an independent, non-profit and non-governmental association with headquarters in Jerusalem. PFPPA has service delivery points located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip, which has yet to be relocated after it was destroyed following an Israeli airstrike on 8 October. Furthermore, and in cooperation with local partners, PFPPA is also responsible for 3 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. About the International Planned Parenthood Federation IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.   Photo credit: IPPF/Samar Abu Elouf/Palestine

Nepal humanitarian
media center

| 24 May 2024

IPPF response to announcement of UK general election

London, 23 May 2024: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday announced the next general election will take place on 4 July 2024, bringing with it an opportunity for the elected government to restore UK aid spending to pre-pandemic levels.   In 2023, UK aid spend was £15.3 billion, an increase of £2.5 billion (20.2 per cent) on 2022, representing 0.58% of gross national income. However, this still falls short of the UN target for developed countries to allocate a minimum of 0.7% of their GNI to overseas development assistance (ODA). The UK government has a statutory duty to meet this target.   In addition to this, the UK is spending over a third of its aid budget inside the UK; the party-elect could and should go further to restore its reputation and international impact, including making clear that the parliamentary and legal commitment is to spend aid internationally on poverty.  The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) states it is committed to gender equality and working with partners around the world to ‘shift the dial’ on progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The dial can only be shifted when long-term commitment is taken seriously – including fiscally – to SRHR partners.    The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is grateful for FCDO’s commitment to the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme, and its successor WISH Dividend. This has enabled IPPF, and our Member Associations, to expand our footprint and service delivery and ensure regular capacity building support to governments.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:  “This election will take place at a time when the world is experiencing more inequality, more divisiveness, and more crises than ever before.   “Cuts to bilateral and multilateral ODA on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) since 2020 have had a negative impact upon the aid recipients of SRHR programmes, particularly on women and girls and those belonging to marginalised groups. Nearly every UK development partner has faced four successive years of cuts.   “Previous aid cuts have left millions of women around the world with less control over their bodies and their futures. Our hope is that the successful party in this election understands the key role of the UK in empowering women and girls and providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need. It is critical now more than ever that the UK government restore its aid budget to at least 0.7% as soon as possible if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts.”  For media enquiries and to arrange interviews with staff, please contact [email protected]     About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.    For over 72 years, IPPF - through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners - has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context.  We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We boldly stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.   

Nepal humanitarian
media_center

| 24 May 2024

IPPF response to announcement of UK general election

London, 23 May 2024: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday announced the next general election will take place on 4 July 2024, bringing with it an opportunity for the elected government to restore UK aid spending to pre-pandemic levels.   In 2023, UK aid spend was £15.3 billion, an increase of £2.5 billion (20.2 per cent) on 2022, representing 0.58% of gross national income. However, this still falls short of the UN target for developed countries to allocate a minimum of 0.7% of their GNI to overseas development assistance (ODA). The UK government has a statutory duty to meet this target.   In addition to this, the UK is spending over a third of its aid budget inside the UK; the party-elect could and should go further to restore its reputation and international impact, including making clear that the parliamentary and legal commitment is to spend aid internationally on poverty.  The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) states it is committed to gender equality and working with partners around the world to ‘shift the dial’ on progress on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The dial can only be shifted when long-term commitment is taken seriously – including fiscally – to SRHR partners.    The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is grateful for FCDO’s commitment to the Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) programme, and its successor WISH Dividend. This has enabled IPPF, and our Member Associations, to expand our footprint and service delivery and ensure regular capacity building support to governments.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of IPPF, said:  “This election will take place at a time when the world is experiencing more inequality, more divisiveness, and more crises than ever before.   “Cuts to bilateral and multilateral ODA on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) since 2020 have had a negative impact upon the aid recipients of SRHR programmes, particularly on women and girls and those belonging to marginalised groups. Nearly every UK development partner has faced four successive years of cuts.   “Previous aid cuts have left millions of women around the world with less control over their bodies and their futures. Our hope is that the successful party in this election understands the key role of the UK in empowering women and girls and providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those in greatest need. It is critical now more than ever that the UK government restore its aid budget to at least 0.7% as soon as possible if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts.”  For media enquiries and to arrange interviews with staff, please contact [email protected]     About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.    For over 72 years, IPPF - through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners - has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context.  We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We boldly stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.   

Intersex flag
media center

| 04 April 2024

Human rights victory for intersex persons

Geneva, 4 April - The International Planned Parenthood Federation celebrates the historic adoption of the first ever United Nations resolution on the human rights of intersex persons! This landmark resolution advances efforts to combat the unique human rights violations that intersex persons face and the obligation of states to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all people, without discrimination of any kind.   The resolution, Combating Discrimination, Violence, and Harmful Practices against Intersex Persons, was adopted by a vote of 24 in favor and 23 abstentions, with no votes against it. The resolution acknowledges that intersex people exist in all societies and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in all areas of life. It specifically expresses grave concern about violence and harmful practices that intersex persons face, including children, including unnecessary or deferrable medical interventions made without full, free and informed consent. The resolution calls on states to combat violence, discrimination and harmful practices against intersex people, address the root causes such as stereotypes and stigma, and work to realize intersex people’s human right to health. This is a major advancement in the work of the Human Rights Council to ensure all people can exercise their human rights free from violence and discrimination.  Critically, intersex people and organizations were involved in every step of this initiative, including through powerful interventions in negotiations. IPPF applauds Finland, Chile, South Africa and Australia for championing a resolution which centered the priorities, terminology and lived experiences of intersex persons themselves. IPPF is proud to have worked in solidarity with civil society partners and Member States through evidence-based information, outreach and strategy in order to achieve success in this ground-breaking to guarantee the human rights of intersex persons.  Estelle Wagner, IPPF’s Senior International Advocacy Adviser in Geneva said: “The fact that not a single Member State voted against this resolution demonstrates the overwhelming global support for the human rights of intersex persons. This is a momentous achievement of the intersex community and we are so proud to stand in solidarity at this historic moment.”  As part of its ongoing commitment to advancing LGBTQI+ rights, IPPF is committed to continuing to fight for intersex people’s human rights at every level, from the UN to the local, to guarantee their right to live free from violence and discrimination.   For media enquiries, please contact [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. We are a movement of 150 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners with a presence in over 146 countries. Building on a proud history of 70 years of achievement, we commit to lead a locally owned, globally connected civil society movement that provides and enables services and champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, especially the under-served. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Intersex flag
media_center

| 04 April 2024

Human rights victory for intersex persons

Geneva, 4 April - The International Planned Parenthood Federation celebrates the historic adoption of the first ever United Nations resolution on the human rights of intersex persons! This landmark resolution advances efforts to combat the unique human rights violations that intersex persons face and the obligation of states to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all people, without discrimination of any kind.   The resolution, Combating Discrimination, Violence, and Harmful Practices against Intersex Persons, was adopted by a vote of 24 in favor and 23 abstentions, with no votes against it. The resolution acknowledges that intersex people exist in all societies and face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination in all areas of life. It specifically expresses grave concern about violence and harmful practices that intersex persons face, including children, including unnecessary or deferrable medical interventions made without full, free and informed consent. The resolution calls on states to combat violence, discrimination and harmful practices against intersex people, address the root causes such as stereotypes and stigma, and work to realize intersex people’s human right to health. This is a major advancement in the work of the Human Rights Council to ensure all people can exercise their human rights free from violence and discrimination.  Critically, intersex people and organizations were involved in every step of this initiative, including through powerful interventions in negotiations. IPPF applauds Finland, Chile, South Africa and Australia for championing a resolution which centered the priorities, terminology and lived experiences of intersex persons themselves. IPPF is proud to have worked in solidarity with civil society partners and Member States through evidence-based information, outreach and strategy in order to achieve success in this ground-breaking to guarantee the human rights of intersex persons.  Estelle Wagner, IPPF’s Senior International Advocacy Adviser in Geneva said: “The fact that not a single Member State voted against this resolution demonstrates the overwhelming global support for the human rights of intersex persons. This is a momentous achievement of the intersex community and we are so proud to stand in solidarity at this historic moment.”  As part of its ongoing commitment to advancing LGBTQI+ rights, IPPF is committed to continuing to fight for intersex people’s human rights at every level, from the UN to the local, to guarantee their right to live free from violence and discrimination.   For media enquiries, please contact [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. We are a movement of 150 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners with a presence in over 146 countries. Building on a proud history of 70 years of achievement, we commit to lead a locally owned, globally connected civil society movement that provides and enables services and champions sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, especially the under-served. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Uganda LGBTQI
media center

| 15 March 2024

Uganda: denying NGO registration fails democratic principles

Geneva/London, 15 March 2024 - The Ugandan Court of Appeal’s decision to deny Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) legal registration fails the democratic principles enshrined in the country’s Constitution and should be reversed, ILGA World and The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today.  Despite having worked to protect the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions for more than twenty years, Sexual Minorities Uganda has repeatedly been denied legal recognition: first in 2012 and then in 2018, when the High Court upheld the initial decision by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. Six years later, in March 2024, the Court of Appeal shut down SMUG’s hope to register and be recognised as an independent legal entity under the law. “For civil society organisations working on sexual, gender and bodily diversity issues, registration allows them to serve more effectively those parts of societies that States fail to protect,” said ILGA World and IPPF. “Without this opportunity, they cannot conduct their activities formally or receive funding for their work. Ultimately, this decision restricts freedom of association and further pushes those who are already targeted by discriminatory laws to the margins of society.” “The Constitution of Uganda,” continue ILGA World and IPPF, “claims that ‘The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.’ Ultimately, the extremely disappointing decision to reject SMUG’s registration goes in the entirely opposite direction. We are in solidarity with the organisation and join them in calling out this missed opportunity to protect better the rights of some of the most vulnerable populations in Ugandan society.” In Uganda, registration is banned for those organisations with goals that allegedly are “in contravention of the laws”. In January 2023, a report by the NGO Bureau detailed how the agency investigated and acted upon several organisations for promoting the rights of LGBTI people and recommended authorities take stricter measures against NGOs that "promote LGBTIQ activities" — including stepping up the criminalisation of activism. A few months later, the Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into law, further cracking down also on organisations found guilty of “promoting homosexuality”. These actions against LGBTI human rights NGOs are part of a larger crackdown on Ugandan civil society. In November 2019, the Ugandan government shut down more than 12,000 organisations. Such actions have since continued, with as many as 54 organisations suspended in a single day in August 2021. “Across the world, State and non-state actors are mobilising voter bases by attacking our identities and freedoms: we see the same tactics at play here, too,” ILGA World and IPPF conclude. “At this critical time, politicians need to focus on the things that matter – a stable economy and vibrant communities — rather than attacking those who work to support vulnerable parts of societies. LGBTI people and cisgender heterosexual women and girls are marginalised and excluded by policies, legislation and narratives that strip away reproductive rights and criminalise sexuality and gender. But our communities stand united to defend and secure democratic and economic rights for all.”   Notes to editors: ILGA World is a global federation of more than 2,000 organisations from 170 countries and territories, advocating for the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics worldwide. https://ilga.org  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952, and today, it is a movement of 150 member associations and collaborative partners with a presence in over 146 countries. https://www.ippf.org/    Contacts for media enquiries: ILGA World: Daniele Paletta, communications manager, [email protected] IPPF: Alice Ackermann, communications adviser, [email protected]     

Uganda LGBTQI
media_center

| 15 March 2024

Uganda: denying NGO registration fails democratic principles

Geneva/London, 15 March 2024 - The Ugandan Court of Appeal’s decision to deny Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) legal registration fails the democratic principles enshrined in the country’s Constitution and should be reversed, ILGA World and The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) said today.  Despite having worked to protect the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions for more than twenty years, Sexual Minorities Uganda has repeatedly been denied legal recognition: first in 2012 and then in 2018, when the High Court upheld the initial decision by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. Six years later, in March 2024, the Court of Appeal shut down SMUG’s hope to register and be recognised as an independent legal entity under the law. “For civil society organisations working on sexual, gender and bodily diversity issues, registration allows them to serve more effectively those parts of societies that States fail to protect,” said ILGA World and IPPF. “Without this opportunity, they cannot conduct their activities formally or receive funding for their work. Ultimately, this decision restricts freedom of association and further pushes those who are already targeted by discriminatory laws to the margins of society.” “The Constitution of Uganda,” continue ILGA World and IPPF, “claims that ‘The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.’ Ultimately, the extremely disappointing decision to reject SMUG’s registration goes in the entirely opposite direction. We are in solidarity with the organisation and join them in calling out this missed opportunity to protect better the rights of some of the most vulnerable populations in Ugandan society.” In Uganda, registration is banned for those organisations with goals that allegedly are “in contravention of the laws”. In January 2023, a report by the NGO Bureau detailed how the agency investigated and acted upon several organisations for promoting the rights of LGBTI people and recommended authorities take stricter measures against NGOs that "promote LGBTIQ activities" — including stepping up the criminalisation of activism. A few months later, the Anti-Homosexuality Act was signed into law, further cracking down also on organisations found guilty of “promoting homosexuality”. These actions against LGBTI human rights NGOs are part of a larger crackdown on Ugandan civil society. In November 2019, the Ugandan government shut down more than 12,000 organisations. Such actions have since continued, with as many as 54 organisations suspended in a single day in August 2021. “Across the world, State and non-state actors are mobilising voter bases by attacking our identities and freedoms: we see the same tactics at play here, too,” ILGA World and IPPF conclude. “At this critical time, politicians need to focus on the things that matter – a stable economy and vibrant communities — rather than attacking those who work to support vulnerable parts of societies. LGBTI people and cisgender heterosexual women and girls are marginalised and excluded by policies, legislation and narratives that strip away reproductive rights and criminalise sexuality and gender. But our communities stand united to defend and secure democratic and economic rights for all.”   Notes to editors: ILGA World is a global federation of more than 2,000 organisations from 170 countries and territories, advocating for the human rights of people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics worldwide. https://ilga.org  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952, and today, it is a movement of 150 member associations and collaborative partners with a presence in over 146 countries. https://www.ippf.org/    Contacts for media enquiries: ILGA World: Daniele Paletta, communications manager, [email protected] IPPF: Alice Ackermann, communications adviser, [email protected]     

Sudanese woman
media center

| 01 February 2024

Cases on the rise and vital life-saving treatments running low for Ethiopian refugees in Sudan living with HIV/AIDS

Since the influx of Ethiopian refugees into Sudan began in November 2020 following military unrest in the Tigray region, most humanitarian assistance has been focused on food, shelter, and primary health services. In response to this, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) established two clinics in Um Rakouba and Tunaydbah refugee camps to meet the needs of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This includes comprehensive care of HIV/AIDS, allowing people living with HIV (PLHIV) to continue antiretroviral therapy (ARV) with privacy and confidentiality. Their services also involve the prevention and syndromic management of other sexually transmitted infections.   The current emergency situation in Sudan has led to an estimated displacement of 7.6 million people across Sudan's 18 states, with over 13,000 reported deaths. This crisis is causing serious challenges to the already stretched health system.  The increase of internally displaced people (IDPs) during the last nine months has also affected the provision of health services for the general population.    The Government of Sudan, with the assistance of national and international partners, is going to huge efforts to ensure health coverage for IDPs and refugees. However, among the current national plans and funding, healthcare for HIV positive refugees is not adequately addressed. SFPA is also facing challenges providing SRH care, especially in the refugee camps, as they struggle to keep up with the numbers of IDPs - which are increasing dramatically by the day.   SFPA provides SRH services in collaboration with the Sudan National AIDS Control Program (SNAP) and Al Gadarif SMOH. The total number of refugees living with HIV has now reached a tipping point, with 758 current cases recorded so far. So far, all clients have been able to regularly receive their ARV treatment. Many of them have reached zero viral load due to good adherence to treatment, meaning that the levels of HIV in the body are so low that the virus cannot be passed on.   However, due to a shortfall of funding and resources, the risk of the discontinuation or interruption of ARVs may result in viral rebound, immune decompensation, and the progression of the virus.  The higher percentage of newly discovered cases (10.4% of newly arrived refugees tested positive to HIV) also indicates that there is a new spread of HIV, not only amongst the youth population inside the camps, but also host communities.    Given the current condition of refugee camps in Al Gadarif State, failure to adequately provide for people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent further transmissions may lead to catastrophic outcomes - not only in the camps but nationwide.          About the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA)   SFPA is a key SRH service provider in Sudan through its 15 branches covering 14 states1with a solid track record of delivering services in humanitarian settings. SFPA continues to fulfil its mandate and commitment to provide essential SRH and non- SRH services to refugees through an Australia Aid-supported emergency response to Ethiopian refugee crisis from 2021-2022 and continued with support from the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) until 31 December 2023, providing health services including testing, counselling, prevention of mother to child transmission, care and treatment services and ensure the enrolment of PLHIV in the ARVs regimen.     Banner credits: IPPF/Hannah Maule-ffinch/Sudan

Sudanese woman
media_center

| 05 February 2024

Cases on the rise and vital life-saving treatments running low for Ethiopian refugees in Sudan living with HIV/AIDS

Since the influx of Ethiopian refugees into Sudan began in November 2020 following military unrest in the Tigray region, most humanitarian assistance has been focused on food, shelter, and primary health services. In response to this, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) established two clinics in Um Rakouba and Tunaydbah refugee camps to meet the needs of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. This includes comprehensive care of HIV/AIDS, allowing people living with HIV (PLHIV) to continue antiretroviral therapy (ARV) with privacy and confidentiality. Their services also involve the prevention and syndromic management of other sexually transmitted infections.   The current emergency situation in Sudan has led to an estimated displacement of 7.6 million people across Sudan's 18 states, with over 13,000 reported deaths. This crisis is causing serious challenges to the already stretched health system.  The increase of internally displaced people (IDPs) during the last nine months has also affected the provision of health services for the general population.    The Government of Sudan, with the assistance of national and international partners, is going to huge efforts to ensure health coverage for IDPs and refugees. However, among the current national plans and funding, healthcare for HIV positive refugees is not adequately addressed. SFPA is also facing challenges providing SRH care, especially in the refugee camps, as they struggle to keep up with the numbers of IDPs - which are increasing dramatically by the day.   SFPA provides SRH services in collaboration with the Sudan National AIDS Control Program (SNAP) and Al Gadarif SMOH. The total number of refugees living with HIV has now reached a tipping point, with 758 current cases recorded so far. So far, all clients have been able to regularly receive their ARV treatment. Many of them have reached zero viral load due to good adherence to treatment, meaning that the levels of HIV in the body are so low that the virus cannot be passed on.   However, due to a shortfall of funding and resources, the risk of the discontinuation or interruption of ARVs may result in viral rebound, immune decompensation, and the progression of the virus.  The higher percentage of newly discovered cases (10.4% of newly arrived refugees tested positive to HIV) also indicates that there is a new spread of HIV, not only amongst the youth population inside the camps, but also host communities.    Given the current condition of refugee camps in Al Gadarif State, failure to adequately provide for people living with HIV/AIDS and prevent further transmissions may lead to catastrophic outcomes - not only in the camps but nationwide.          About the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA)   SFPA is a key SRH service provider in Sudan through its 15 branches covering 14 states1with a solid track record of delivering services in humanitarian settings. SFPA continues to fulfil its mandate and commitment to provide essential SRH and non- SRH services to refugees through an Australia Aid-supported emergency response to Ethiopian refugee crisis from 2021-2022 and continued with support from the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) until 31 December 2023, providing health services including testing, counselling, prevention of mother to child transmission, care and treatment services and ensure the enrolment of PLHIV in the ARVs regimen.     Banner credits: IPPF/Hannah Maule-ffinch/Sudan

sudan-hands
media center

| 04 December 2023

Rapes, unplanned pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence on the rise in Sudan’s forgotten war

Khartoum, 4 December 2023 — As the war in Sudan enters its eight month with no end in sight, widespread conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has continued unabated, including reports of mass rapes, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment which demonstrate how sexual violence is being used as a tool of war to subjugate, terrorise and punish women and girls. Since the war between Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces erupted on April 15th, reports of ethnically targeted sexual and gender-based violence have escalated across Sudan, leading to a surge in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague said in July it is investigating the hostilities in Darfur, including reports of killings, rapes and crimes against children. Rape has often been used as a weapon of war over the years in Sudan, human rights groups have said. Sexual violence is prohibited in conflict, and the accounts of rape could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prevailing conflict and social unrest in various regions of Sudan have created an environment rife for SGBV, leaving countless individuals exposed to the gravest violations of their most intimate rights. Deeply disturbing accounts of gang rapes, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of sexual, physical and psychological violence have emerged, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare for survivors. IPPF’s local member association in Sudan, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) has been providing these services across Sudan since the outbreak of the war, including counselling, medical assistance, and referrals for survivors of SGBV. Despite unprovoked attacks on six SFPA facilities which have so far killed one youth volunteer and injured numerous clients and staff, as well as interrupted the delivery of some health services, SFPA has continued to work in conflict-affected areas through their large network of community based distributors and mobile clinics. Dr Seham Jaber, the director of Digital Health Interventions and Services at SFPA said:  “We have noticed escalating rates of sexual and gender-based violence in Sudan since the outbreak of the war in April. Violence against women and girls is occurring at the hands of militants, as well as an increase in domestic and intimate partner violence, including rape. Young girls and boys are living in overcrowded shelters are reporting to us cases of sexual harassment and abuse." Confidentiality, sensitivity and compassion are crucial to SFPA’s work, because many survivors of sexual violence don’t seek medical treatment due to the fear of social stigma and reprisals. SFPA's website and hotline have seen a considerable increase in traffic for reports of SGBV from the community since the start of the war. In response, SFPA is also running community awareness and education campaigns on SGBV, and is enlisting the support of local Imams to promote gender equality, and foster a culture of respect and consent. For media inquiries or to speak to one of our staff in Sudan, please contact [email protected]  About the Sudan Family Planning Association The Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) was established in 1965 by pioneers in obstetrics and gynecology in response to increases in maternal, neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity. Sudan is a country in great need of frontline sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. In 2022, SFPA provided 26 million services through 24 clinics, 261 associated clinics, and 37 mobile clinics. Since the start of the war on 15 April 2023; the Association teams have been successful in providing 14,706,000 services through 24 SFPA facilities , mobile clinics, mobile teams ,CBDs and partners clinics . SFPA was able to assist 1,145 deliveries under bombardment and provided 167,000 treatments of HIV&AIDS “HIV screening and care for PLHIV” through its static clinics. Mobile clinics are used to offer integrated SRH services including HIV/STI services and condom distribution, STI testing and management, HIV testing and treatment for HIV opportunistic infections, referrals for ARV treatment including PMTCT and awareness sessions both at mobile clinics and at the community level by community health promoters and community base distributors (CBDs). About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.

sudan-hands
media_center

| 04 December 2023

Rapes, unplanned pregnancies and sexual and gender-based violence on the rise in Sudan’s forgotten war

Khartoum, 4 December 2023 — As the war in Sudan enters its eight month with no end in sight, widespread conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) has continued unabated, including reports of mass rapes, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment which demonstrate how sexual violence is being used as a tool of war to subjugate, terrorise and punish women and girls. Since the war between Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese Armed Forces erupted on April 15th, reports of ethnically targeted sexual and gender-based violence have escalated across Sudan, leading to a surge in unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague said in July it is investigating the hostilities in Darfur, including reports of killings, rapes and crimes against children. Rape has often been used as a weapon of war over the years in Sudan, human rights groups have said. Sexual violence is prohibited in conflict, and the accounts of rape could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The prevailing conflict and social unrest in various regions of Sudan have created an environment rife for SGBV, leaving countless individuals exposed to the gravest violations of their most intimate rights. Deeply disturbing accounts of gang rapes, sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of sexual, physical and psychological violence have emerged, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare for survivors. IPPF’s local member association in Sudan, the Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) has been providing these services across Sudan since the outbreak of the war, including counselling, medical assistance, and referrals for survivors of SGBV. Despite unprovoked attacks on six SFPA facilities which have so far killed one youth volunteer and injured numerous clients and staff, as well as interrupted the delivery of some health services, SFPA has continued to work in conflict-affected areas through their large network of community based distributors and mobile clinics. Dr Seham Jaber, the director of Digital Health Interventions and Services at SFPA said:  “We have noticed escalating rates of sexual and gender-based violence in Sudan since the outbreak of the war in April. Violence against women and girls is occurring at the hands of militants, as well as an increase in domestic and intimate partner violence, including rape. Young girls and boys are living in overcrowded shelters are reporting to us cases of sexual harassment and abuse." Confidentiality, sensitivity and compassion are crucial to SFPA’s work, because many survivors of sexual violence don’t seek medical treatment due to the fear of social stigma and reprisals. SFPA's website and hotline have seen a considerable increase in traffic for reports of SGBV from the community since the start of the war. In response, SFPA is also running community awareness and education campaigns on SGBV, and is enlisting the support of local Imams to promote gender equality, and foster a culture of respect and consent. For media inquiries or to speak to one of our staff in Sudan, please contact [email protected]  About the Sudan Family Planning Association The Sudan Family Planning Association (SFPA) was established in 1965 by pioneers in obstetrics and gynecology in response to increases in maternal, neonatal and infant mortality and morbidity. Sudan is a country in great need of frontline sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. In 2022, SFPA provided 26 million services through 24 clinics, 261 associated clinics, and 37 mobile clinics. Since the start of the war on 15 April 2023; the Association teams have been successful in providing 14,706,000 services through 24 SFPA facilities , mobile clinics, mobile teams ,CBDs and partners clinics . SFPA was able to assist 1,145 deliveries under bombardment and provided 167,000 treatments of HIV&AIDS “HIV screening and care for PLHIV” through its static clinics. Mobile clinics are used to offer integrated SRH services including HIV/STI services and condom distribution, STI testing and management, HIV testing and treatment for HIV opportunistic infections, referrals for ARV treatment including PMTCT and awareness sessions both at mobile clinics and at the community level by community health promoters and community base distributors (CBDs). About the International Planned Parenthood Federation  IPPF, through its 149 Member Associations and collaborative partners, delivers high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helps advance sexual and reproductive rights, especially for marginalized people with diverse needs that are currently unmet. IPPF's Member Associations and partners are locally owned, independent organisations, which means the support and care they provide are informed by local expertise and context. IPPF advocates for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and their bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity for all - no matter what.