Access to health information is an important part of the fundamental right to health. Much like in other areas of healthcare, the realisation of the rights to reproductive health services and information is impacted both by structural systems and inequalities, and by crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. What insights can library experiences offer on access to SRH information today?

One of the current focus areas for the work of the UN OHCHR Special Rapporteur on the Right to Heath is examining the extent to which everyone is able to enjoy the right to reproductive health, particularly the challenges and possible solutions arising during the pandemic.

A brief response prepared by IFLA summarises some of the important current developments impacting the right to health information – and good library practices aiming to help deliver on this right:

  • The challenge of reduced access to SRH information and learning, due to physical closures of schools, libraries, and other community organisations
  • Risks associated with varied levels of trust and confidence in the internet as a source of SRH information
  • Higher barriers to access to SRH information experienced by people facing multiple axes of vulnerability – particularly people with disabilities
  • The potential of access to SRH information through telehealth, including via public access in libraries, and
  • The importance of health literacy initiatives in general, including library-based initiatives

You can access the full response below:

IFLA Submission - The Right to Reproductive Health, Challenges and Opportunities During COVID-19

An IFLA submission to a call for inputs about reproductive health during the COVID-19 pandemic draws on the library field’s experiences with providing access to SRH information and learning opportunities.