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Sexual rights of people with disabilities in Europe

Question écrite de M. Angelo CIOCCA - Commission européenne

Question de M. Angelo CIOCCA,

Diffusée le 3 mars 2024

Subject: Sexual rights of people with disabilities in Europe

Despite the progress made on the rights of people with disabilities, the sexuality of people with disabilities is an issue that is often overlooked and which does not receive sufficient recognition in EU- wide policies and programmes.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities underlines the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have access to sexual and reproductive health services as well as the importance of eliminating all forms of discrimination in this domain. People with disabilities have a right to enjoy a gratifying sex life and to participate fully and consciously in sexual experiences.

Given that sexuality is a core part of human life and that its acknowledgement and acceptance are essential in order to fully respect the human rights of all individuals, irrespective of their physical or cognitive abilities, can the Commission answer the following:

1. What steps is it taking to foster acknowledgement and acceptance of the sexuality of people with disabilities within EU Member States?

2. How does it intend to guarantee that people with disabilities have inclusive and equal access to information and services relating to sexual and reproductive health?

3. How does it intend to work with Members States to develop policies and programmes that address the challenges and forms of discrimination linked to the sexuality of people with disabilities?

Submitted:4.3.2024

Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 18 juin 2024

Answer given by Ms Dalli on behalf of the European Commission

(19 June 2024)

The Commission adopted the strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities (1), in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) (2), to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against them. It calls Member States to improve access to healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

While the provision of health services remains a national competence (3), the EU supports Member States and encourage cooperation between them. The ongoing EU4Health action will provide guidelines on access to healthcare for persons with disabilities (4). Furthermore, the Commission continues to support regular good practice exchange, i.e. on gender equality and health, including on SRHR, under the Mutual Learning Programme in Gender Equalit y (5). The Citizenship, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme (6) also provides funding to civil society organisations working on women’s rights, including SRHR.

Furthermore, the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 (7) refers to the exchange of good practices between Member States and stakeholders on the gender aspects of health, including SRHR. Forced sterilisation is a form of violence against women as set in the directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence (8).

1 ∙ ⸱ https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex%3A52021DC0101

2 ∙ ⸱ https://social.desa.un.org/issues/disability/crpd/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-crpd

3 ∙ ⸱ As established in Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?

uri=CELEX:12012E/TXT 4 ∙ ⸱

HS-p-22-14.02 Guidelines on access to healthcare for people with disabilities; https://health.ec.europa.eu/document/download/331c4ac5-492d-4359-a708- c0a7e2cfa363_en?filename=c_2023_5052_1_annex_en.pdf 5 ∙ ⸱

https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/gender-equality/who-we-work-gender-equality/mutual-learning- programme-gender-equality_en 6 ∙ ⸱

https://commission.europa.eu/about-european-commission/departments-and-executive-agencies/justice-and-consumers/justice-and-consumers-funding- tenders/funding-programmes/citizens-equality-rights-and-values-programme_en 7 ∙ ⸱ https://commission.europa.eu/strategy-and-policy/policies/justice-and-fundamental-rights/gender-equality/gender-equality-strategy_en 8 ∙ ⸱ Adopted on 7 May 2024 — https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20240419IPR20588/parliament-approves-first-ever-eu-rules-on-combating- violence-against-women















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