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Camilo Jimenez

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Latest press releases

Latest press releases

A selection of stories from across the Federation

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Ukraine

Media center

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

An update on IPPF's partnership with the All-Poland's Women's Strike and the urgent need for the safe passage of humanitarian aid into Ukraine.

For media inquiries

stop violence
media center

| 18 March 2022

IPPF EN welcomes the proposed EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence

On International Women’s Day, the European Commission proposed the first ever EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence. IPPF EN thanks the Commission for this historic and ambitious initiative. We very much welcome this draft Directive, which proposes a wide range of crucial measures to combat violence at all stages, from prevention to prosecution. The Directive will help protect women and girls in the EU from forms of violence that affect them disproportionately. The EU must ensure that the Directive protects women and girls in all their diversity. IPPF EN stands for the protection of all people from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and calls upon the EU to ensure the safety of everyone.   Sexuality education recognised as key to prevention IPPF EN is particularly pleased that the Commission has recognised the need to strengthen sexuality education, as an essential tool to prevent violence. Harmful gender stereotypes, which are at the root of gender-based violence, must be combatted from an early age. The Directive affirms the importance of education programmes in schools and in early-childhood education and care, to combat these stereotypes, and to strengthen the socio-emotional skills that young people need to be able to develop healthy and respectful relationships.   Criminalisation of rape as lack of consent, FGM and online violence  IPPF EN also very much welcomes the criminalization of rape based on the absence of consent. Shockingly, 18 EU Member States still require force or threats to have been used in order for rape to be punishable. All Member States must urgently review their legislation, to bring it in line with this consent-based definition, as already adopted in the 2008 Istanbul Convention. The criminalisation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Directive is also critical. FGM causes women and girls great harm and suffering, in violation of their sexual and reproductive rights. Finally, in this digital world, the Directive also crucially criminalises online stalking, harassment, incitement to hatred, and revenge porn. Member States must step up their efforts to ensure the internet is a safe space for women and girls. Women who are active in public life, especially those who defend women’s rights, are amongst those most systematically targeted, with the intent of silencing them, threatening their well-being and even physical safety, as is the case in Poland for instance.    But all forms of GBV should be eliminated, including violations of SRHR IPPF EN calls on the European Commission to work towards eliminating all forms of SGBV. The Directive refers to a number of specific forms of violence that violate women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including forced abortion and forced sterilization, in addition to sexual violence and FGM, which we welcome. Broader violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as gynaecological and obstetric violence, forced pregnancy, and the denial of abortion care – which has caused the deaths of at least three women in Poland, should also be recognized as violence and combatted.   Victims should have access to comprehensive support services, including SRH care The Directive proposes several measures to ensure victims’ access to support services. We regret however that the Directive fails to grant sufficient importance to access to healthcare services for victims/survivors. Access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care specifically is not mentioned as an essential type of healthcare that victims/survivors of sexual violence must have access to.   All victims should be protected and supported IPPF EN aims to protect everyone from SGBV, including people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics. We encourage the EU to adopt an inclusive and intersectional approach to truly protect the safety of all Europeans. The definition of rape in particular should protect all victims, regardless of their sex or gender, in line with the internationally agreed language in the Istanbul Convention. IPPF EN welcomes the recognition that some groups of women are particularly at risk, or have specific needs that must be addressed, including women sex workers, and women fleeing armed conflict. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced high numbers of women to flee their homes. In their response to the crisis, the EU and its Member States must urgently protect them from SGBV, particularly rape and human trafficking, which always proliferate in crisis situations, and address their SRHR needs, both in and out of the EU.   What's next IPPF EN will now work with the European Parliament and Member States during upcoming negotiations, to advocate for the swift adoption of the strongest text possible. In parallel, we call on the Council to achieve the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention by qualified majority, following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU, thereby overcoming the current political stalemate preventing this vital instrument from protecting women and girls in the EU. All EU Member States must also urgently ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention. 

stop violence
media_center

| 18 March 2022

IPPF EN welcomes the proposed EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence

On International Women’s Day, the European Commission proposed the first ever EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence. IPPF EN thanks the Commission for this historic and ambitious initiative. We very much welcome this draft Directive, which proposes a wide range of crucial measures to combat violence at all stages, from prevention to prosecution. The Directive will help protect women and girls in the EU from forms of violence that affect them disproportionately. The EU must ensure that the Directive protects women and girls in all their diversity. IPPF EN stands for the protection of all people from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and calls upon the EU to ensure the safety of everyone.   Sexuality education recognised as key to prevention IPPF EN is particularly pleased that the Commission has recognised the need to strengthen sexuality education, as an essential tool to prevent violence. Harmful gender stereotypes, which are at the root of gender-based violence, must be combatted from an early age. The Directive affirms the importance of education programmes in schools and in early-childhood education and care, to combat these stereotypes, and to strengthen the socio-emotional skills that young people need to be able to develop healthy and respectful relationships.   Criminalisation of rape as lack of consent, FGM and online violence  IPPF EN also very much welcomes the criminalization of rape based on the absence of consent. Shockingly, 18 EU Member States still require force or threats to have been used in order for rape to be punishable. All Member States must urgently review their legislation, to bring it in line with this consent-based definition, as already adopted in the 2008 Istanbul Convention. The criminalisation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Directive is also critical. FGM causes women and girls great harm and suffering, in violation of their sexual and reproductive rights. Finally, in this digital world, the Directive also crucially criminalises online stalking, harassment, incitement to hatred, and revenge porn. Member States must step up their efforts to ensure the internet is a safe space for women and girls. Women who are active in public life, especially those who defend women’s rights, are amongst those most systematically targeted, with the intent of silencing them, threatening their well-being and even physical safety, as is the case in Poland for instance.    But all forms of GBV should be eliminated, including violations of SRHR IPPF EN calls on the European Commission to work towards eliminating all forms of SGBV. The Directive refers to a number of specific forms of violence that violate women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including forced abortion and forced sterilization, in addition to sexual violence and FGM, which we welcome. Broader violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as gynaecological and obstetric violence, forced pregnancy, and the denial of abortion care – which has caused the deaths of at least three women in Poland, should also be recognized as violence and combatted.   Victims should have access to comprehensive support services, including SRH care The Directive proposes several measures to ensure victims’ access to support services. We regret however that the Directive fails to grant sufficient importance to access to healthcare services for victims/survivors. Access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care specifically is not mentioned as an essential type of healthcare that victims/survivors of sexual violence must have access to.   All victims should be protected and supported IPPF EN aims to protect everyone from SGBV, including people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics. We encourage the EU to adopt an inclusive and intersectional approach to truly protect the safety of all Europeans. The definition of rape in particular should protect all victims, regardless of their sex or gender, in line with the internationally agreed language in the Istanbul Convention. IPPF EN welcomes the recognition that some groups of women are particularly at risk, or have specific needs that must be addressed, including women sex workers, and women fleeing armed conflict. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced high numbers of women to flee their homes. In their response to the crisis, the EU and its Member States must urgently protect them from SGBV, particularly rape and human trafficking, which always proliferate in crisis situations, and address their SRHR needs, both in and out of the EU.   What's next IPPF EN will now work with the European Parliament and Member States during upcoming negotiations, to advocate for the swift adoption of the strongest text possible. In parallel, we call on the Council to achieve the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention by qualified majority, following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU, thereby overcoming the current political stalemate preventing this vital instrument from protecting women and girls in the EU. All EU Member States must also urgently ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention. 

Ukranian flag in hands
media center

| 07 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said:  

Ukranian flag in hands
media_center

| 03 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said:  

yehor-milohrodskyi-syuhhPwu-hk-unsplash.jpg
media center

| 25 February 2022

Statement on the escalating conflict in Ukraine

Following the disturbing reports coming out of Ukraine, IPPF has released a media statement on behalf of the Federation and its Member Association in Ukraine.   Despite the fact that sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRHR) needs increase significantly during conflict and humanitarian situations, the significant vulnerabilities of affected populations and displaced people are often overlooked, especially the experiences of women, girls and marginalised populations who are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual and gender-based violence. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:   "The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict in Ukraine. We take our responsibility to preserve the enormous gains made in life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare across the country very seriously, especially for women, girls and marginalised populations, whose vulnerability and experiences are so often overlooked in humanitarian situations.  For 20 years, IPPF has consistently worked to strengthen and protect the reproductive rights of people in Ukraine, working in the frontline conflict zones of Lugansk and Donetsk since 2014, training medical specialists to provide life-saving reproductive healthcare, psychosocial support and quality care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Our teams are now contingency planning across the region to address not only the needs of those still in Ukraine, but also the millions who are likely to be displaced by the conflict and who will require critical support to continue accessing healthcare. We will work closely with partners and other NGOs to ensure the least possible disruption to services. IPPF stands in solidarity with the international community and the brave people of Ukraine who for the last eight years have faced terrifying and difficult circumstances that nobody should ever have to suffer through.

yehor-milohrodskyi-syuhhPwu-hk-unsplash.jpg
media_center

| 24 February 2022

Statement on the escalating conflict in Ukraine

Following the disturbing reports coming out of Ukraine, IPPF has released a media statement on behalf of the Federation and its Member Association in Ukraine.   Despite the fact that sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRHR) needs increase significantly during conflict and humanitarian situations, the significant vulnerabilities of affected populations and displaced people are often overlooked, especially the experiences of women, girls and marginalised populations who are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual and gender-based violence. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:   "The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict in Ukraine. We take our responsibility to preserve the enormous gains made in life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare across the country very seriously, especially for women, girls and marginalised populations, whose vulnerability and experiences are so often overlooked in humanitarian situations.  For 20 years, IPPF has consistently worked to strengthen and protect the reproductive rights of people in Ukraine, working in the frontline conflict zones of Lugansk and Donetsk since 2014, training medical specialists to provide life-saving reproductive healthcare, psychosocial support and quality care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Our teams are now contingency planning across the region to address not only the needs of those still in Ukraine, but also the millions who are likely to be displaced by the conflict and who will require critical support to continue accessing healthcare. We will work closely with partners and other NGOs to ensure the least possible disruption to services. IPPF stands in solidarity with the international community and the brave people of Ukraine who for the last eight years have faced terrifying and difficult circumstances that nobody should ever have to suffer through.

Alert for Poland
media center

| 26 January 2022

Regression on Abortion Access Harms Women in Poland

26 January 2022 – One year after the ruling of Poland’s discredited Constitutional Tribunal banning access to abortion in almost all circumstances took effect, its devastating impact on the lives of women and all those in need of abortion care continues. The ruling has increased the extreme barriers women seeking access to abortion face and has had tragic consequences for many of them and their families. Since the ruling took effect on 27 January 2021, more than 1000 women have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to vindicate their rights, challenging Poland’s highly restrictive abortion law and seeking justice. These groundbreaking cases mark the first direct challenges to be filed before the European Court against Poland’s abortion law and the 2020 Constitutional Tribunal ruling. The applicants claim that the Polish abortion law causes them grave harm and violates their rights to privacy and freedom from torture and other ill-treatment. The Court is expected to begin ruling on some of these cases: K.B. v. Poland and 3 other applications; K.C. v. Poland and 3 other applications; and A.L.- B. v. Poland and 3 other applications. Nine leading international human rights organizations have filed third-party interventions to the European Court of Human Rights in these cases, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), Women Enabled International, Women’s Link Worldwide, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The interventions provide evidence and analysis drawing on international human rights law, comparative European law and guidelines from the World Health Organization. They outline the profound implications that highly restrictive abortion laws have on the lives and health of women and girls of reproductive age.  

Alert for Poland
media_center

| 26 January 2022

Regression on Abortion Access Harms Women in Poland

26 January 2022 – One year after the ruling of Poland’s discredited Constitutional Tribunal banning access to abortion in almost all circumstances took effect, its devastating impact on the lives of women and all those in need of abortion care continues. The ruling has increased the extreme barriers women seeking access to abortion face and has had tragic consequences for many of them and their families. Since the ruling took effect on 27 January 2021, more than 1000 women have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to vindicate their rights, challenging Poland’s highly restrictive abortion law and seeking justice. These groundbreaking cases mark the first direct challenges to be filed before the European Court against Poland’s abortion law and the 2020 Constitutional Tribunal ruling. The applicants claim that the Polish abortion law causes them grave harm and violates their rights to privacy and freedom from torture and other ill-treatment. The Court is expected to begin ruling on some of these cases: K.B. v. Poland and 3 other applications; K.C. v. Poland and 3 other applications; and A.L.- B. v. Poland and 3 other applications. Nine leading international human rights organizations have filed third-party interventions to the European Court of Human Rights in these cases, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), Women Enabled International, Women’s Link Worldwide, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The interventions provide evidence and analysis drawing on international human rights law, comparative European law and guidelines from the World Health Organization. They outline the profound implications that highly restrictive abortion laws have on the lives and health of women and girls of reproductive age.  

Women_s Voices Series _41226_Panos_IPPF (1).jpg
media center

| 14 January 2022

New European overview shows failures to guarantee access to abortion care

Joint press release by the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) We mark the International Safe Abortion Day by highlighting that women and girls in Europe face unnecessary obstacles to access abortion care and in some countries are even forced to continue pregnancies against their will. The joint EPF-IPPF EN “European Abortion Policies Atlas” scores 52 European countries and territories on legal frameworks to access safe abortion care and clearly shows that Europe is not as progressive as it might seem. 

Women_s Voices Series _41226_Panos_IPPF (1).jpg
media_center

| 28 September 2021

New European overview shows failures to guarantee access to abortion care

Joint press release by the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) We mark the International Safe Abortion Day by highlighting that women and girls in Europe face unnecessary obstacles to access abortion care and in some countries are even forced to continue pregnancies against their will. The joint EPF-IPPF EN “European Abortion Policies Atlas” scores 52 European countries and territories on legal frameworks to access safe abortion care and clearly shows that Europe is not as progressive as it might seem. 

Marta Bogdanowicz Spacerowiczka7.jpg
media center

| 14 January 2022

Poland: A Year On, Abortion Ruling Harms Women

Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law (Brussels, October 19, 2021) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since the ruling, women human rights defenders have also faced an increasingly hostile and dangerous environment. Poland’s authorities should end efforts to undermine reproductive rights and weaken protections from gender-based violence. They should commit to protecting women human rights defenders who have faced ongoing threats and attacks since the October 2020 decision. Escalating death threats since October 9 against Marta Lempart, co-founder of Ognopolski Strajk Kobiet (All-Poland Women’s Strike) and a target of repeated threats for leading demonstrations supporting legal abortion and women’s rights, led to her police protection during public appearances.

Marta Bogdanowicz Spacerowiczka7.jpg
media_center

| 19 October 2021

Poland: A Year On, Abortion Ruling Harms Women

Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law (Brussels, October 19, 2021) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since the ruling, women human rights defenders have also faced an increasingly hostile and dangerous environment. Poland’s authorities should end efforts to undermine reproductive rights and weaken protections from gender-based violence. They should commit to protecting women human rights defenders who have faced ongoing threats and attacks since the October 2020 decision. Escalating death threats since October 9 against Marta Lempart, co-founder of Ognopolski Strajk Kobiet (All-Poland Women’s Strike) and a target of repeated threats for leading demonstrations supporting legal abortion and women’s rights, led to her police protection during public appearances.

stop violence
media center

| 18 March 2022

IPPF EN welcomes the proposed EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence

On International Women’s Day, the European Commission proposed the first ever EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence. IPPF EN thanks the Commission for this historic and ambitious initiative. We very much welcome this draft Directive, which proposes a wide range of crucial measures to combat violence at all stages, from prevention to prosecution. The Directive will help protect women and girls in the EU from forms of violence that affect them disproportionately. The EU must ensure that the Directive protects women and girls in all their diversity. IPPF EN stands for the protection of all people from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and calls upon the EU to ensure the safety of everyone.   Sexuality education recognised as key to prevention IPPF EN is particularly pleased that the Commission has recognised the need to strengthen sexuality education, as an essential tool to prevent violence. Harmful gender stereotypes, which are at the root of gender-based violence, must be combatted from an early age. The Directive affirms the importance of education programmes in schools and in early-childhood education and care, to combat these stereotypes, and to strengthen the socio-emotional skills that young people need to be able to develop healthy and respectful relationships.   Criminalisation of rape as lack of consent, FGM and online violence  IPPF EN also very much welcomes the criminalization of rape based on the absence of consent. Shockingly, 18 EU Member States still require force or threats to have been used in order for rape to be punishable. All Member States must urgently review their legislation, to bring it in line with this consent-based definition, as already adopted in the 2008 Istanbul Convention. The criminalisation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Directive is also critical. FGM causes women and girls great harm and suffering, in violation of their sexual and reproductive rights. Finally, in this digital world, the Directive also crucially criminalises online stalking, harassment, incitement to hatred, and revenge porn. Member States must step up their efforts to ensure the internet is a safe space for women and girls. Women who are active in public life, especially those who defend women’s rights, are amongst those most systematically targeted, with the intent of silencing them, threatening their well-being and even physical safety, as is the case in Poland for instance.    But all forms of GBV should be eliminated, including violations of SRHR IPPF EN calls on the European Commission to work towards eliminating all forms of SGBV. The Directive refers to a number of specific forms of violence that violate women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including forced abortion and forced sterilization, in addition to sexual violence and FGM, which we welcome. Broader violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as gynaecological and obstetric violence, forced pregnancy, and the denial of abortion care – which has caused the deaths of at least three women in Poland, should also be recognized as violence and combatted.   Victims should have access to comprehensive support services, including SRH care The Directive proposes several measures to ensure victims’ access to support services. We regret however that the Directive fails to grant sufficient importance to access to healthcare services for victims/survivors. Access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care specifically is not mentioned as an essential type of healthcare that victims/survivors of sexual violence must have access to.   All victims should be protected and supported IPPF EN aims to protect everyone from SGBV, including people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics. We encourage the EU to adopt an inclusive and intersectional approach to truly protect the safety of all Europeans. The definition of rape in particular should protect all victims, regardless of their sex or gender, in line with the internationally agreed language in the Istanbul Convention. IPPF EN welcomes the recognition that some groups of women are particularly at risk, or have specific needs that must be addressed, including women sex workers, and women fleeing armed conflict. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced high numbers of women to flee their homes. In their response to the crisis, the EU and its Member States must urgently protect them from SGBV, particularly rape and human trafficking, which always proliferate in crisis situations, and address their SRHR needs, both in and out of the EU.   What's next IPPF EN will now work with the European Parliament and Member States during upcoming negotiations, to advocate for the swift adoption of the strongest text possible. In parallel, we call on the Council to achieve the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention by qualified majority, following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU, thereby overcoming the current political stalemate preventing this vital instrument from protecting women and girls in the EU. All EU Member States must also urgently ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention. 

stop violence
media_center

| 18 March 2022

IPPF EN welcomes the proposed EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence

On International Women’s Day, the European Commission proposed the first ever EU law to combat violence against women and domestic violence. IPPF EN thanks the Commission for this historic and ambitious initiative. We very much welcome this draft Directive, which proposes a wide range of crucial measures to combat violence at all stages, from prevention to prosecution. The Directive will help protect women and girls in the EU from forms of violence that affect them disproportionately. The EU must ensure that the Directive protects women and girls in all their diversity. IPPF EN stands for the protection of all people from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), and calls upon the EU to ensure the safety of everyone.   Sexuality education recognised as key to prevention IPPF EN is particularly pleased that the Commission has recognised the need to strengthen sexuality education, as an essential tool to prevent violence. Harmful gender stereotypes, which are at the root of gender-based violence, must be combatted from an early age. The Directive affirms the importance of education programmes in schools and in early-childhood education and care, to combat these stereotypes, and to strengthen the socio-emotional skills that young people need to be able to develop healthy and respectful relationships.   Criminalisation of rape as lack of consent, FGM and online violence  IPPF EN also very much welcomes the criminalization of rape based on the absence of consent. Shockingly, 18 EU Member States still require force or threats to have been used in order for rape to be punishable. All Member States must urgently review their legislation, to bring it in line with this consent-based definition, as already adopted in the 2008 Istanbul Convention. The criminalisation of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the Directive is also critical. FGM causes women and girls great harm and suffering, in violation of their sexual and reproductive rights. Finally, in this digital world, the Directive also crucially criminalises online stalking, harassment, incitement to hatred, and revenge porn. Member States must step up their efforts to ensure the internet is a safe space for women and girls. Women who are active in public life, especially those who defend women’s rights, are amongst those most systematically targeted, with the intent of silencing them, threatening their well-being and even physical safety, as is the case in Poland for instance.    But all forms of GBV should be eliminated, including violations of SRHR IPPF EN calls on the European Commission to work towards eliminating all forms of SGBV. The Directive refers to a number of specific forms of violence that violate women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including forced abortion and forced sterilization, in addition to sexual violence and FGM, which we welcome. Broader violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as gynaecological and obstetric violence, forced pregnancy, and the denial of abortion care – which has caused the deaths of at least three women in Poland, should also be recognized as violence and combatted.   Victims should have access to comprehensive support services, including SRH care The Directive proposes several measures to ensure victims’ access to support services. We regret however that the Directive fails to grant sufficient importance to access to healthcare services for victims/survivors. Access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care specifically is not mentioned as an essential type of healthcare that victims/survivors of sexual violence must have access to.   All victims should be protected and supported IPPF EN aims to protect everyone from SGBV, including people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions and sex characteristics. We encourage the EU to adopt an inclusive and intersectional approach to truly protect the safety of all Europeans. The definition of rape in particular should protect all victims, regardless of their sex or gender, in line with the internationally agreed language in the Istanbul Convention. IPPF EN welcomes the recognition that some groups of women are particularly at risk, or have specific needs that must be addressed, including women sex workers, and women fleeing armed conflict. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has forced high numbers of women to flee their homes. In their response to the crisis, the EU and its Member States must urgently protect them from SGBV, particularly rape and human trafficking, which always proliferate in crisis situations, and address their SRHR needs, both in and out of the EU.   What's next IPPF EN will now work with the European Parliament and Member States during upcoming negotiations, to advocate for the swift adoption of the strongest text possible. In parallel, we call on the Council to achieve the EU accession to the Istanbul Convention by qualified majority, following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU, thereby overcoming the current political stalemate preventing this vital instrument from protecting women and girls in the EU. All EU Member States must also urgently ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention. 

Ukranian flag in hands
media center

| 07 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said:  

Ukranian flag in hands
media_center

| 03 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said:  

yehor-milohrodskyi-syuhhPwu-hk-unsplash.jpg
media center

| 25 February 2022

Statement on the escalating conflict in Ukraine

Following the disturbing reports coming out of Ukraine, IPPF has released a media statement on behalf of the Federation and its Member Association in Ukraine.   Despite the fact that sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRHR) needs increase significantly during conflict and humanitarian situations, the significant vulnerabilities of affected populations and displaced people are often overlooked, especially the experiences of women, girls and marginalised populations who are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual and gender-based violence. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:   "The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict in Ukraine. We take our responsibility to preserve the enormous gains made in life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare across the country very seriously, especially for women, girls and marginalised populations, whose vulnerability and experiences are so often overlooked in humanitarian situations.  For 20 years, IPPF has consistently worked to strengthen and protect the reproductive rights of people in Ukraine, working in the frontline conflict zones of Lugansk and Donetsk since 2014, training medical specialists to provide life-saving reproductive healthcare, psychosocial support and quality care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Our teams are now contingency planning across the region to address not only the needs of those still in Ukraine, but also the millions who are likely to be displaced by the conflict and who will require critical support to continue accessing healthcare. We will work closely with partners and other NGOs to ensure the least possible disruption to services. IPPF stands in solidarity with the international community and the brave people of Ukraine who for the last eight years have faced terrifying and difficult circumstances that nobody should ever have to suffer through.

yehor-milohrodskyi-syuhhPwu-hk-unsplash.jpg
media_center

| 24 February 2022

Statement on the escalating conflict in Ukraine

Following the disturbing reports coming out of Ukraine, IPPF has released a media statement on behalf of the Federation and its Member Association in Ukraine.   Despite the fact that sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRHR) needs increase significantly during conflict and humanitarian situations, the significant vulnerabilities of affected populations and displaced people are often overlooked, especially the experiences of women, girls and marginalised populations who are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and sexual and gender-based violence. IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, said:   "The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is deeply concerned about the escalation of conflict in Ukraine. We take our responsibility to preserve the enormous gains made in life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare across the country very seriously, especially for women, girls and marginalised populations, whose vulnerability and experiences are so often overlooked in humanitarian situations.  For 20 years, IPPF has consistently worked to strengthen and protect the reproductive rights of people in Ukraine, working in the frontline conflict zones of Lugansk and Donetsk since 2014, training medical specialists to provide life-saving reproductive healthcare, psychosocial support and quality care to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Our teams are now contingency planning across the region to address not only the needs of those still in Ukraine, but also the millions who are likely to be displaced by the conflict and who will require critical support to continue accessing healthcare. We will work closely with partners and other NGOs to ensure the least possible disruption to services. IPPF stands in solidarity with the international community and the brave people of Ukraine who for the last eight years have faced terrifying and difficult circumstances that nobody should ever have to suffer through.

Alert for Poland
media center

| 26 January 2022

Regression on Abortion Access Harms Women in Poland

26 January 2022 – One year after the ruling of Poland’s discredited Constitutional Tribunal banning access to abortion in almost all circumstances took effect, its devastating impact on the lives of women and all those in need of abortion care continues. The ruling has increased the extreme barriers women seeking access to abortion face and has had tragic consequences for many of them and their families. Since the ruling took effect on 27 January 2021, more than 1000 women have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to vindicate their rights, challenging Poland’s highly restrictive abortion law and seeking justice. These groundbreaking cases mark the first direct challenges to be filed before the European Court against Poland’s abortion law and the 2020 Constitutional Tribunal ruling. The applicants claim that the Polish abortion law causes them grave harm and violates their rights to privacy and freedom from torture and other ill-treatment. The Court is expected to begin ruling on some of these cases: K.B. v. Poland and 3 other applications; K.C. v. Poland and 3 other applications; and A.L.- B. v. Poland and 3 other applications. Nine leading international human rights organizations have filed third-party interventions to the European Court of Human Rights in these cases, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), Women Enabled International, Women’s Link Worldwide, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The interventions provide evidence and analysis drawing on international human rights law, comparative European law and guidelines from the World Health Organization. They outline the profound implications that highly restrictive abortion laws have on the lives and health of women and girls of reproductive age.  

Alert for Poland
media_center

| 26 January 2022

Regression on Abortion Access Harms Women in Poland

26 January 2022 – One year after the ruling of Poland’s discredited Constitutional Tribunal banning access to abortion in almost all circumstances took effect, its devastating impact on the lives of women and all those in need of abortion care continues. The ruling has increased the extreme barriers women seeking access to abortion face and has had tragic consequences for many of them and their families. Since the ruling took effect on 27 January 2021, more than 1000 women have turned to the European Court of Human Rights in an effort to vindicate their rights, challenging Poland’s highly restrictive abortion law and seeking justice. These groundbreaking cases mark the first direct challenges to be filed before the European Court against Poland’s abortion law and the 2020 Constitutional Tribunal ruling. The applicants claim that the Polish abortion law causes them grave harm and violates their rights to privacy and freedom from torture and other ill-treatment. The Court is expected to begin ruling on some of these cases: K.B. v. Poland and 3 other applications; K.C. v. Poland and 3 other applications; and A.L.- B. v. Poland and 3 other applications. Nine leading international human rights organizations have filed third-party interventions to the European Court of Human Rights in these cases, including Amnesty International, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Watch, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN), Women Enabled International, Women’s Link Worldwide, and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The interventions provide evidence and analysis drawing on international human rights law, comparative European law and guidelines from the World Health Organization. They outline the profound implications that highly restrictive abortion laws have on the lives and health of women and girls of reproductive age.  

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media center

| 14 January 2022

New European overview shows failures to guarantee access to abortion care

Joint press release by the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) We mark the International Safe Abortion Day by highlighting that women and girls in Europe face unnecessary obstacles to access abortion care and in some countries are even forced to continue pregnancies against their will. The joint EPF-IPPF EN “European Abortion Policies Atlas” scores 52 European countries and territories on legal frameworks to access safe abortion care and clearly shows that Europe is not as progressive as it might seem. 

Women_s Voices Series _41226_Panos_IPPF (1).jpg
media_center

| 28 September 2021

New European overview shows failures to guarantee access to abortion care

Joint press release by the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (EPF) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN) We mark the International Safe Abortion Day by highlighting that women and girls in Europe face unnecessary obstacles to access abortion care and in some countries are even forced to continue pregnancies against their will. The joint EPF-IPPF EN “European Abortion Policies Atlas” scores 52 European countries and territories on legal frameworks to access safe abortion care and clearly shows that Europe is not as progressive as it might seem. 

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media center

| 14 January 2022

Poland: A Year On, Abortion Ruling Harms Women

Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law (Brussels, October 19, 2021) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since the ruling, women human rights defenders have also faced an increasingly hostile and dangerous environment. Poland’s authorities should end efforts to undermine reproductive rights and weaken protections from gender-based violence. They should commit to protecting women human rights defenders who have faced ongoing threats and attacks since the October 2020 decision. Escalating death threats since October 9 against Marta Lempart, co-founder of Ognopolski Strajk Kobiet (All-Poland Women’s Strike) and a target of repeated threats for leading demonstrations supporting legal abortion and women’s rights, led to her police protection during public appearances.

Marta Bogdanowicz Spacerowiczka7.jpg
media_center

| 19 October 2021

Poland: A Year On, Abortion Ruling Harms Women

Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law (Brussels, October 19, 2021) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since the ruling, women human rights defenders have also faced an increasingly hostile and dangerous environment. Poland’s authorities should end efforts to undermine reproductive rights and weaken protections from gender-based violence. They should commit to protecting women human rights defenders who have faced ongoing threats and attacks since the October 2020 decision. Escalating death threats since October 9 against Marta Lempart, co-founder of Ognopolski Strajk Kobiet (All-Poland Women’s Strike) and a target of repeated threats for leading demonstrations supporting legal abortion and women’s rights, led to her police protection during public appearances.