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  • Accountability

    As defined by the United Nations Development Program, accountability is the obligation of those who have the power to assume responsibility for their actions. It describes the rights and responsibilities that exist between individual people and institutions that have an impact on their lives (including governments, and civil society). In democratic states, accountability helps ensure that decision-makers adhere to publicly agreed standards, norms and objectives: citizens empower their government to levy taxes, spend, and enact and enforce laws and policies. In return, they expect the government to explain and justify the use of power, and take corrective action when necessary.


  • Adolescents and Young People

    The United Nations understands adolescents to include persons aged 10-19 years and youth as those between 15-24 years for statistical purposes without prejudice to other definitions by Member States. Together, adolescents and youth are referred to as young people, encompassing the ages of 10-24 years.


  • Commodities / Sanitary registration

    The sanitary registration is a document that authorizes a natural or legal person to manufacture, pack and import a product intended for human consumption.

  • Comprehensive Reproductive Health Package

    A full sexual and reproductive health package includes: Family planning/birth spacing services, antenatal care, skilled attendance at delivery and postnatal care; management of obstetric and neonatal complications and emergencies; prevention of abortion and management of complications resulting from unsafe abortion; prevention and treatment of reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS; early diagnosis and treatment for breast and cervical cancer; promotion, education and support for exclusive breast feeding; prevention and appropriate treatment of sub-fertility and infertility; active discouragement of harmful practices such as female genital cutting; adolescent sexual and reproductive health; and prevention and management of gender-based violence.


  • Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health Services

    Universal access to sexual and reproductive information and health-care services, including family planning, prenatal care, safe delivery and post-natal care, especially breastfeeding and infant and women’s health care; emergency obstetric care, prevention and appropriate treatment of infertility, quality services for the management of complications arising from abortion, reducing the recourse to abortion through expanded and improved family planning services and, in circumstances where abortion is not against the law, training and equipping health-service providers and other measures to ensure that such abortion is safe and accessible, recognizing that in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning; prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and other reproductive health conditions and information, education and counselling, as appropriate, on human sexuality, reproductive health and responsible parenthood, taking into account the particular needs of those in vulnerable situations, which would contribute to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action and the Millennium Development Goals.


  • Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

    Age-appropriate, culturally relevant approach to teaching about sex and relationships by providing scientifically accurate, realistic, non-judgmental information. Sexuality education provides opportunities to explore one’s own values and attitudes and to build decision-making, communication and risk reduction skills about many aspects of sexuality.


  • Domestic violence

    Refers to all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence that occur within the family or domestic unit or between former or current spouses or partners, whether or not the perpetrator shares of has shared the same residence with the victim. 


  • Emergency contraception

    Emergency contraception, or post-coital contraception, refers to methods of contraception that can be used to prevent pregnancy in the first few days after intercourse. It is intended for emergency use following unprotected intercourse, contraceptive failure or misuse (such as forgotten pills or torn condoms), rape or coerced sex. Emergency contraception is effective only in the first few days following intercourse before the ovum is released from the ovary and before the sperm fertilizes the ovum. Emergency contraceptive pills cannot interrupt an established pregnancy or harm a developing embryo.


  • Essential medicine

    According to the WHO, medicine that cover the priority health care needs of the population are considered essential. Its selection is based on the prevalence of diseases and their safety, efficacy and comparative cost effectiveness.

    It is intended that, in the context of existing health systems, essential medicines be available at all times, in sufficient quantities, in appropriate pharmaceutical forms, with a guaranteed quality, and at a price that is affordable to individuals and the community.


  • Family planning

    Family planning allows individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. It is achieved through use of contraceptive methods and the treatment of involuntary infertility. A woman’s ability to space and limit her pregnancies has a direct impact on her health and well-being as well as on the outcome of each pregnancy.


  • Gender

    Refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes. They are context/time-specific and changeable. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a women or a man in a given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between women and men in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Gender is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis include class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age.


  • Gender identity

    Gender identity refers to each person’s deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms.



    The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people's surveillance and defense systems against infections and some types of cancer. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient. Immune function is typically measured by CD4 cell count. Immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections and diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can take from 2 to 15 years to develop depending on the individual. AIDS is defined by the development of certain cancers, infections, or other severe clinical manifestations.


  • Humane childbirth

    Although WHO does not have a definition of humanized delivery, other organizations define it using the recommendations of WHO. The concept of Humanized Delivery can be defined as an integral proposal towards maternity in all its stages, from pregnancy to postpartum ( A mode of delivery care characterized by respect for the rights of parents and children at birth. That is, in keeping with the needs and wishes of the family that will give birth. When talking about humanized childbirth, it is about generating a family space where the mother and baby are the protagonists and where the birth takes place in the most natural way possible.


  • International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) & Programme of Action

    The ICPD Programme of Action, adopted in 1994 by 179 Member States, lays out a far-sighted plan for advancing human well-being that places the human rights of individuals, rather than numerical population targets, at the center of the global development agenda. It emphasizes the value of investing in women and girls, both as an end in itself and as a key to improving the quality of life for everyone. And it affirms the importance of sexual and reproductive health, including family planning, as a precondition for women’s empowerment. It calls for an end to gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices, including female genital mutilation. Further, the Programme of Action highlights the crucial links between sexual and reproductive health and rights with almost every aspect of population and development, from urbanization, migration and ageing to changing family structures and the importance of addressing the rights of young people. It calls attention to the ways in which investing in women and youth, especially in their sexual and reproductive health, can impact environmental sustainability and population dynamics.


  • Maternal health

    Maternal health services, based on the concept of informed choice, should include education on safe motherhood, prenatal care that is focused and effective, maternal nutrition programmes, adequate delivery assistance that avoids excessive recourse to caesarean sections and provides for obstetric emergencies; referral services for pregnancy, childbirth and abortion complications; post-natal care and family planning. All births should be assisted by trained persons, preferably nurses and midwives, but at least by trained birth attendants. The underlying causes of maternal morbidity and mortality should be identified, and attention should be given to the development of strategies to overcome them and for adequate evaluation and monitoring mechanisms to assess the progress being made in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity and to enhance the effectiveness of ongoing programmes. Programmes and education to engage men’s support for maternal health and safe motherhood should developed.


  • Maternal Mortality / Maternal Death

    The death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management but not from accidental or incidental causes.


  • Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development

    The Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development was the result of the first meeting of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in August 2013 in Montevideo, Uruguay. This agreement is one of the most progressive documents in the world on sexual and reproductive health and rights. This historic agreement is the first in the world to recognize sexual rights as human rights. In addition to reaffirming the commitments made at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development - Program of Action (ICPD), the commitments made in the Montevideo Consensus on sexual and reproductive health open the possibility of advancing key issues such as the right to comprehensive sexuality education, and the elimination of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.


  • Priority Measures for the Montevideo Consensus

    Priority meausres: The priority Measures of the Montevideo Consensus represent 108 commitments that cover multiple themes and different key populations distributed among nine thematic chapters and one on frameworks for implementation.


  • Reproductive health

    Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. Implicit in this last condition are the right of men and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as other methods of their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health care services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant. In line with the above definition of reproductive health, reproductive health care is defined as the constellation of methods, techniques and services that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive health problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counseling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases.


  • Reproductive Health Care

    Reproductive health care is defined as the constellation of methods, techniques and services that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive health problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations, and not merely counselling and care related to reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases.


  • Reproductive Rights

    Reproductive rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus documents. These rights rest on the recognition of the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the rights to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health. It also includes their right to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence, as expressed in human rights documents.


  • Right to Highest Attainable Standard of Health

    The right to health contains four elements:

    1) Availability: a sufficient quantity of functioning public health and health care facilities, goods and services, as well as programmes.

    2) Accessibility: health facilities, goods and services accessible to everyone. Accessibility has four overlapping dimensions:

    - Non-discrimination

    - Physical accessibility

    - Economical accessibility (affordability)

    - Information accessibility.

    3) Acceptability: all health facilities, goods and services must be respectful of medical ethics and culturally appropriate as well as sensitive to gender and life-cycle requirements.

    4) Quality: health facilities, goods and services must be scientifically and medically appropriate and of good quality.


  • Secularism

    Secularism is a philosophical position that separates the political from the religious. It has 3 fundamental principles: respect for freedom of conscience, autonomy of the political versus the religious, as well as guarantee equality and non-discrimination. Thus understood, secularism is the indisputable basis for the respect and promotion of the exercise of rights because it guarantees that political issues will be based on scientific criteria, where popular sovereignty prevails over moral dogmas originating from a particular church or creed.

    Secularization is the process by which society moves away from all forms of religious legitimacy. It begins as soon as religion and its institutions lose influence and other spheres of knowledge occupy their place, both culturally and in social formations.

  • Sexual abuse

    Sexual abuse is the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. Sexual abuse refers to a) Engaging in sexual activities with a child who, according to the relevant provisions of national law, has not reached the legal age for sexual activities. b) Engaging in sexual activities with a child where use is made of coercion, force or threats; or abuse is made of a recognized position of trust, authority or influence over the child, including within the family; or abuse is made of a particularly vulnerable situation of the child, notably because of a mental or physical disability or situation of dependence.


  • Sexual health

    A state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.


  • Sexual orientation

    Sexual orientation refers to each person’s capacity for profound emotional, affectional and sexual attraction to, and intimate and sexual relations with, individuals of a different gender or the same gender or more than one gender.


  • Sexual Rights

    The fulfilment of sexual health is tied to the extent to which human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Sexual rights embrace certain human rights that are already recognized in international and regional human rights documents and other consensus documents and in national laws. Rights critical to the realization of sexual health include:

    - the rights to equality and non-discrimination

    - the right to be free from torture or to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment

    - the right to privacy

    - the rights to the highest attainable standard of health (including sexual health) and social security

    - the right to marry and to found a family and enter into marriage with the free and full consent of the intending spouses, and to equality in and at the dissolution of marriage

    - the right to decide the number and spacing of one's children

    - the rights to information, as well as education

    - the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, and

    - the right to an effective remedy for violations of fundamental rights.

    The responsible exercise of human rights requires that all persons respect the rights of others. The application of existing human rights to sexuality and sexual health constitute sexual rights. Sexual rights protect all people's rights to fulfil and express their sexuality and enjoy sexual health, with due regard for the rights of others and within a framework of protection against discrimination.


  • Sexual Violence

    Sexual violence is any sexual act, the attempt to consummate a sexual act, or other acts directed against the sexuality of a person, done by coercion by another person, regardless of their relationship with the victim. It includes rape, defined as the penetration, by physical or other coercion, of the vagina or anus with the penis, another part of the body, or an object.


  • Sexuality

    A central aspect of being human throughout life encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.


  • Sexually transmitted infections

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are spread primarily through person-to-person sexual contact. There are more than 30 different sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites. The most common conditions they cause are gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, syphilis, trichomoniasis, chancroid, genital herpes, genital warts, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and hepatitis B infection. Several, in particular HIV and syphilis, can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth, and through blood products and tissue transfer.


  • Specialized Care for Victims of Gender-Based Violence

    The term "violence against women" means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life. Accordingly, violence against women encompasses but is not limited to the following: a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation; b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community; including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution; c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs


  • Unsafe abortion

    Unsafe abortion is defined as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking the minimal medical standards or both. The following conditions typically characterize an unsafe abortion, sometimes only a few conditions prevail, and sometimes all or most of them: 1) No pre-abortion counselling and advice; 2) Abortion is induced by an unskilled provider, frequently in unhygienic conditions, or by a health practitioner outside official/adequate health facilities; 3) Abortion is self-induced by ingestion of traditional medication or hazardous substances; 4) Abortion is provoked by insertion of an object into the uterus by the woman herself or by a traditional practitioner, or by a violent abdominal massage; 5) A medical abortion is prescribed incorrectly or medication is issued by a pharmacist with no or incorrect instructions and no follow-up.


  • Youth friendly health services

    The efficient delivery of a holistic, youth-friendly health-care core package includes: - universal access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information - a range of safe and affordable contraceptive methods - sensitive counselling, quality obstetric and antenatal care for all pregnant women and girls - the prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Essential characteristics of youth-friendly services include: -convenient open hours -ensured privacy -competent staff -respect for youth -package of essential services available -sufficient supply of commodities and drugs -range of contraceptives offered -emphasis on dual protection/male and female condoms -referrals available -confidentiality ensured -waiting time not excessive -affordable fees -separate space and/or hours for youth Supportive characteristics of youth-friendly services include: - youth input/feedback to operations - accessible location - publicity that informs and reassures young people - comfortable setting - peer providers/counsellors available - educational materials available - partners welcomed and served - non-medical staff oriented - provision of additional educational opportunities - outreach services available.