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WAS Statement on World Sexual Health Day (WSHD)

September 4th, 2023

THE WORLD ASSOCIATION FOR SEXUAL HEALTH (WAS) welcomes the 14th celebration of World Sexual Health Day on 4th September. The theme for 2023 is: “CONSENT.”

WAS RECOGNISES that consent is an essential human right as enshrined in the landmark WAS DECLARATION OF SEXUAL RIGHTS which speaks to the following sexual rights:

  • The right to autonomy and bodily integrity (Article 3);

  • The right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 4);

  • The right to be free from all forms of violence and coercion (Article 5);

  • The right to privacy (Article 6);

  • The right to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual health; with the possibility of pleasurable, satisfying and safe sexual experiences (Article 7);

  • The right to education and the right to comprehensive sexuality education (Article 10).

  • The right to enter, form, and dissolve marriage and other similar types of relationships based on equality and full and free consent (Article 11);

  • The right to decide whether to have children, the number and spacing of children, and to have the information and the means to do so (Article 12);

WAS RECALLS that all people have the same rights. Persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ people and others who are oppressed or discriminated must not be denied the right to consent.

WAS STRESSES that all sexual acts that are not solitary should be between consenting adults, respecting each other’s rights and never with any coercion or with a person that is unwilling or unable to give full, free and informed consent.

WAS RECOGNISES that sexual justice requires respect, promotion and protection of everyone’s right to consent and to express their desires, without discrimination.

WAS CALLS ON governments at all levels and non-governmental organisations for appropriate reparation where the right to consent had been violated.

WAS ENCOURAGES the governments at all levels and non-governmental organisations to commemorate World Sexual Health Day in an effort to promote a greater social awareness to sexual health and rights across the globe.

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