Earlier this month, the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council met to discuss the adoption of human rights, like the rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, in order to determine what states must focus on in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals. But what right was Ontario based Dr. Kishore Singh concerned with addressing to the committee?
Sex education is a sensitive matter for all societies,” said Mr. Singh, relating that Mr. Muñoz, in his final report, had noted a “worrying lack of sustainable and comprehensive strategies” to ensure the adequate inclusion of sex education in educational and health policies and that, without accurate information, many people were exposed to abuse or risky practices, with potential consequences to their physical and physiological well-being. The many recommendations made by the former Special Rapporteur provided a point of reference for discussions, Mr. Singh added.
The Special Rapporteur concludes his report by reiterating the necessity and the relevance of the right to comprehensive sexual education. He presents specific recommendations for States and the international community, including: adopting and strengthening legislation aimed at guaranteeing the right to sexual education; encouraging public policies aimed at ensuring the right to comprehensive sexual education; ensuring the inclusion of comprehensive sexual education from primary school onwards; establishing the curriculum of sexual education, providing high-quality teacher training; and encouraging the inclusion of families and civil society in curriculum design and implementation.
The idea of what constitutes appropriate sex education varies not only from nation to nation but from person to person, making the universalism of such a right impossible to establish. In the west (especially in the U.S.), parents tend to still have some degree of input on at what age and what kind of sexual education their children are exposed to, but attempting to make this information a basic human right essentially takes all personal choice and preference out of the equation. It would also annihilate respect to religious differences on the subject.
Brigitte adds: But Jennifer, that’s exactly why they’re doing it… We just weren’t supposed to notice.by