Your right to a private and family life encompasses the right to a free choice of whether to become a parent. You have the right to decide about sterilisation or the termination of a pregnancy (abortion) if you do not wish to conceive or give birth to a child.

Read more about the choice to become a parent or not

Information & Access to a sterilisation procedure

Being properly informed in a timely manner about the sterilisation procedure, its risks and impact to your health, as well as access to, and the availability of necessary medical treatment, is also part of the human right to health. Read more about access to information about reproductive health and access to reproductive health care

Sterilisation procedure

Sterilisation is a medical treatment which irrevocably prevents procreation. It may be carried out if at least one of the following circumstances exists:

  • the person has at least three children
  • the person is older than 35
  • pregnancy endangers the woman’s health
  • other contraceptive devices are contraindicated
  • the person is in danger of having a child with severe mental or physical damage to health
  • the person’s illness or health problem hinders raising of a child

What human rights violation may there be?

If you are denied the sterilisation option even though the legal requirements have been met, your right to health may have been violated. Since aspects of your reproductive health are closely linked to your private life, this may have also led to a violation of your right to a private life.

Sterilisation without your consent violates your right to a private life

example A sterilisation procedure carried out during a caesarean section or abortion without your informed consent, is a violation of your right to a private life.

If a sterilisation procedure is denied or imposed on you only because you belong to a group associated with certain characteristics such as disability, race, ethnic origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other similar grounds, it violates the prohibition of discrimination. Forced sterilisation is a grave human rights violation.


Last updated 11/04/2024