WMA adopts resolution on forced/coerced sterilization

November 30, 2012


For over two years IFHHRO has campaigned against forced and coerced sterilisation of women. We are pleased to announce that the World Medical Association has now adopted a resolution on this issue.

Although this form of medical violation of the physical integrity sounds like a story in the past, forced sterilisation is still practised, for example on HIV-positive women in parts of Africa and on Roma women in central Europe.

In the past, IFHHRO organised conferences and workshops with organisations of health professionals and human rights experts. In 2011 we published a position statement on this issue. The World Medical Association agreed with us that these forms of cruel and inhuman treatment in health care should stop immediately and published a joint press release together with IFHHRO in September 2011.

WMA resolution

Earlier this year, the British Medical Association submitted the IFHHRO position statement to the World Medical Association, which adopted the resolution during its General Assembly in October 2012 in Bangkok. After the resolution on Access to Adequate Pain Treatment, this is the second WMA resolution following an IFHHRO initiative. 

The resolution firmly states that no person, regardless of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, medical condition or disability, should be subjected to forced or coerced permanent sterilisation, and that instead, a full range of contraceptive services, including sterilisation, should be accessible and affordable to every individual. Informed consent should always be obtained and should be free from any pressure or material incentives. Further, the WMA calls on all national medical associations to advocate against forced and coerced sterilisation in their own countries and globally.

Full text of the WMA resolution on forced/coerced sterilization

Download the IFHHRO position papers (PDFs):

English | French | Spanish | Russian