World Population day: Things you should know

July 11 was established as World Population Day in 1989 by the United Nations and since then it has been celebrated on this date every year. The United Nations recognises World Population day as an important event to spread information of population-related issues across the globe.

Aim of World Population Day
Almost on the verge of completing three decades now, the internationally celebrated event aims to spread awareness on issues such as overpopulation, under-population and birth control. The world population is currently pegged at around 7 billion and according to UN reports is growing at a fast pace, adding 83 million people every year.

In a message published on the UNFPA website to celebrate the World Population Day, called for government to “fulfill their commitments to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care”, as agreed at the 1994 international conference on population.

What is the UNFPA
The UNFPA works to support family planning by trying to ensure supply of contraceptives, tries to strengthen national health system. UNFPA has been advocating for policies that support family planning .

According to Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive director, United nations population fund (UNFPA), family planning is not only a matter of human rights but is also central to women’s empowerment, reducing poverty and achieving sustainable growth. UNFPA supports family planning in developing countries by ensuring a reliable supply of a full range of modern contraceptives, strengthening national health systems, and promoting gender equality.

The United Nations has list down, ‘ Nine standards to uphold the human rights to family planing’ which include:

Non-discrimination: Family planning information and services cannot be restricted on the basis of race, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, national origin, age, economic status, place of residence, disability status, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Available: Countries must ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.

Accessible: Countries must ensure that family planning commodities and services are accessible to everyone.

Acceptable: Contraceptive services and information must be provided in a dignified manner, respecting both modern medical ethics and the cultures of those being accommodated.

Good quality: Family planning information must be clearly communicated and scientifically accurate.

Informed decision-making: Every person must be empowered to make reproductive choices with full autonomy, free of pressure, coercion or misrepresentation.

Privacy and confidentiality: All individuals must enjoy the right to privacy when seeking family planning information and services.

Participation: Countries have an obligation to ensure the active and informed participation of individuals in decisions that affect them, including health issues.

Accountability: Health systems, education systems, leaders and policymakers must be accountable to the people they serve in all efforts to realize the human right to family planning.