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UN Urges Governments to Respect Reproductive Rights


This fall, three UN treaty monitoring bodies urged the governments of Ecuador, Uganda and Nicaragua to take steps to promote, protect and fulfill reproductiv  rights. The treaty bodies made these powerful recommendations largely in response to the comprehensive advocacy strategy developed by the Center and its partners.

Ecuador: Protect girls from sexual violence in schools

A shocking number of girls in Ecuador face sexual harassment and abuse in schools, often at the hands of teachers or school administrators. The number of girls who report experiencing sexual violence in school ranges from 22 to 63 percent, according to NGO estimates. The Center submitted a shadow letter to the Committee against Torture highlighting the severity of this problem and arguing that these abuses constitute forms of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Committee expressed great concern about sexual violence in schools and noted that it is closely following the case of Paola Guzmán v. Ecuador, which the Center and a local partner filed before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.  The case involves a girl from Guayaquil who was repeatedly sexually abused by the Vice Principal of her school and committed suicide after learning she was pregnant and was unable to obtain a legal abortion

The Committee urged the Ecuadorian government to take immediate steps to address high rates of sexual violence in schools as well as the lack of access to justice for survivors, in line with the Center’s recommendations in its shadow letter. The Committee also called on Ecuador to strengthen efforts to provide survivors with redress, including fair and adequate compensation and services to help them recover physically and psychologically. The Committee’s recommendation embraces one of the shadow letter’s fundamental claims: that access to reproductive healthcare is an essential part of complying with the state’s obligation under the Convention against Torture to guarantee survivors of torture the means to fully recover from their ordeal.

Download the Center's shadow letter to Ecuador >

Download the Ecuador Concluding Observations >

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