Family Planning is a Human Right
On 11 July 1987 the world observed the Day of 5 Billion when it was estimated that the world population reached that figure. Following public interest, it was recommended to observe 11 July annually as the World Population Day which focuses the public attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, particularly in the context of overall development plans and programmes, and calls for collective actions.
The theme of this year’s World Population Day is “Family Planning is a Human Right”. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the International Conference on Human Rights held in Tehran on 13 May 1968 which for the first time affirmed that "Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children."
In Uzbekistan UNFPA has been partnering with the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan throughout the years to promote family planning as a fundamental human right, and as means for women’s empowerment, and achieving sustainable development.
This year UNFPA and Women’s Committee will conduct a round table meeting on 11 July at the National press center with participation of key ministries, representatives from research and education institutions and mass media to highlight the importance of the World Population Day message on human rights-based family planning approach where couples and individuals achieve their reproductive goals and have opportunity to exercise their rights to have children by choice, not by chance. As it is stated by Ms. Mieko Yabuta, UNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan, in her opening speech: “human rights-based family planning is essential to secure health of women and children. It enables women and couples to plan their life and realize their aspirations. Family Planning is a key to ensure good health of the population and prosperous development of families and the country as a whole”.
The participants will also discuss demographic window of opportunity the country is entering into with the current demographic transition of having large working age population. The potential economic gains would be realized through a “demographic dividend,” which can occur when the county’s working age population is larger than the non-working-age population. But to maximize the dividend, the country needs to invest in young people’s education, health, protect their rights, including reproductive rights, and enable them to obtain skills and knowledge to build their capabilities.
World Population Day commemoration culminates with the sports competition organized between the families at the Ecopark of Tashkent city. The sports activities among families will feature running, table tennis and checkers play. The aim of the event is to draw public attention to importance of promotion of reproductive health and rights, including family planning services, women empowerment and gender equality. The event will demonstrate that women who could plan the number and spacing of their child birth could also pursue better education and health to themselves and their children.
“Family planning is not only a matter of human rights; it is also central to women’s empowerment, reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development…. On this World Population Day, UNFPA calls on governments to fulfill their commitments to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care and reproductive rights, including family planning services and information, as agreed at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Investments in family planning today are investments in the health and well-being of millions of women for generations to come.” – calls Ms. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director, in her statement on the occasion of the World Population Day 2018.