Tracks and Sub-Themes of 8th APCRSHR

Track 1: Health rights for all: Towards enabling laws and policies for SRHR

 This track considers the:

  • Recent policy and legal analyses and reviews in Asia-Pacific
  • Development of rights-based SRHR laws and policies
  • Best practices and novel approaches in SRHR evidence-based advocacy:    locally, nationally, regionally and globally
  • Achievements and challenges/barriers in policy and legal change

 SUB-THEMES

1. Sex, love and marriage: What’s the State got to do with it?

    Laws and policies regulate sex and relationships in many ways. This theme will explore issues including the legal age of marriage, the criminalization of particular sexual behaviours, restrictions on the autonomy of individuals to make decisions about their sexual lives, protections relating to equality and non-discrimination, and other aspects.

 
2. Moving from paper to practice: Ensuring implementation of progressive laws and policies 
   This theme considers how civil society is engaging governments in moving from paper to practice including policy analysis and effectiveness, evidence-informed advocacy, financing, addressing conflicting laws and policies, and monitoring and evaluation.
 
3. Overcoming legal challenges to reproductive and SRHR in Asia-Pacific
   This theme will explore punitive laws and enforcement practices on sex work, contraception, same-sex relations, HIV transmission, etc.; legal protections, including of marginalised populations; and policy and legal change.
 
4. How old are you? Legal and policy issues affecting young people’s SRHR 
    Age restrictions on information and services, requirements of marriage or spousal consent, and criminalization of sex work, same-sex conduct, criminal laws and policing practices, can affect young people differentially due to power dynamics and limited access to legal resource. This theme will explore these aspects, along with policies and regulations for youth-friendly services, early marriage and child marriage.
 
5. Pathways to elimination of gender-based violence
   Protection, or lack of protection, from violence, harassment and persecution by both state and private actors can impact on SRH outcomes. This theme will explore different pathways to eliminate gender-based violence.
 
6. Comprehensive sexuality education policies and their implementation
 

TRACK 2.  Governance and Accountability
 

SUB-THEMES


1.         Decentralization and SRHR
            Many countries in the region have decentralized system of governance. This means a local government unit has the budget, authority to legislate and has the decision-making capacity related to health matters including SRHR such as MNCH, FP, STI & HIV, gender-based violence and others.  This theme will examine the advantages and disadvantages of decentralization in SRHR.

2.         Budget advocacy and monitoring
            This covers civil society organization’s engagement in this area which includes transparency, evidence-based programming, beneficiaries’ participation, reporting,opportunities for sub-grants.

3.         SRHR in public-private partnership
            There are many experiences in government working together with private providers from corporate to NGOs.  What kind of collaboration are delivering universal access to SRHR for sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region?  Are there regulations and standards which guarantee quality?

4.         International agreements of SRHR
            Countries have signed numerous conventions, agreements and declarations covering various aspects of SRHR, e.g., ICPD, MDG, Yogyakarta Principle.  How are these international agreements translated and implemented at various levels of governance?  What are the lessons learned from the MDG which could be brought forward towards the SDG implementation?

5.         CSO-watch
            Governance and accountability should not be one-sided.  The standards CSO expect from the government should apply to them.  Are civil society organizations’ significant partners in providing valuable contributions to  the advancement of SRHR in the region? 
 
 Track 3: Health Justice! Towards Sustainable SRHR Financing

            SRHR are fundamental to women and girls being able to lead full, satisfying, healthy and productive lives. SRHR includes universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information, services and supplies, as well as ending gender-based violence and harmful practices such as early, child and forced marriage and female genital cutting. When women have the full range of SRHR, she also has more possibilities to receive an education, and moving on to the workplace, resulting in more potential for economic growth and development for communities and nations as a whole. Hence, access to SRHR leads to advancing gender equality, including reduction in maternal mortality and increased life expectancy. Rights that fall within SRHR are recognised in international human rights agreements. Yet, the past and current economic climate have not recognised the dire need to invest in SRHR, especially of women and marginalised populations. In every country, SRHR outcomes are worse for women and girls who are poorer, lesser educated and living in hard-to-reach places. This track will aim to discuss ways in which more financing can directed for SRHR and what implications outcomes of global discussions such as Financing for Development (FfD) will have on countries to fulfil their obligations.

SUB-THEMES:

1.         Rights Based Universal Access to SRH

            Many countries in Asia Pacific are moving towards adopting universal health coverage which aims to have all people obtain the health services they need without risking    financial hardship from unaffordable out-of-pocket payments.  Is this really the case? How is universal access differ from universal health coverage? Has universal health coverage promoted increased privatisation in the health sector, led to more out of pocket expenses for the ordinary person seeking quality health services and has it opened the door to dubious public-private partnerships?

 2.        Alternative models for SRHR financing
            With the current climate of reduced or diminishing financing for SRHR, there is a need for innovative and creative alternate ways to find these funds. Recently, some countries have implemented a ‘sin tax’ on certain goods to finance health services and others have begun specifically budgeting for SRHR or utilising other innovative funds. What other examples can we share? What role should development partners have in this process?

3.         Social marketing for SRH
            Recently social marketing has played an important role in some countries in terms of improving access to and use of contraceptives. Social Marketing has several unique advantages such as it is fact in terms of delivery and scaling up, the services and products are seen as normal commercial goods at affordable prices, and it is highly cost-effective. What are some of the good practices and lessons that can be shared from around Asia Pacific on social marketing schemes?
 
4.         Regional integration- implications on trade agreements and SRH commodities
            The Asia Pacific hosts a number of regionally integrated bodies such as the ASEAN, SAARC and PIFS. They enable processes in which neighbouring states enter into an agreement in order to upgrade cooperation through common institutions and rules. These regional bodies are expanding their network of trade agreements that play a role in supporting trade liberalisation. How is regional integration through their mutually agreed trade agreements affecting the availability of quality SRH commodities?
 
5.         Financing for development and SRHR in the post 2015
            Financing for Development (FfD) is a crucial discussion that is currently taking place at the global level, culminating in the third FfD conference in July 2015 with a new financing framework. An independent process that began in the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, the FfD decides funding contributions to and support for various sectors. While earlier discussions on FfD were limited to economic issues, such as foreign investments, debts, and macroeconomic issues, the current discussions also cover social developmental issues, such as gender equality and women’s empowerment. But is SRHR included in these discussions?
 
Track 4: SRH Integration in Health Systems

SUB-THEMES:
1. Sex Talk -  Enhancing STI, HIV and Sexual Health Services Beyond the Targets and Demographics
            SRHR is not always mentioned on discussions on STI, HIV-AIDS and Sexual Health Services. However, the integration of SRHR into these services may provide a more robust and holistic approach which could lead to achieving program goals and demographic targets. Experiences of various stakeholders in these areas will be explored.

2. From the Bedroom to the Classroom- Integrating SRHR in MNCH Services
            Should MNCH services need to focus beyond the traditional interventions during the ante to post natal periods? The integration of SRHR may help improve overall maternal health and lead to better birth outcomes. This session provides examples on how this may be achieved.

3. Youth Speak- Exploring the Integration of SRHR in Adolescent and Youth Health Services
            Are the youth ready to discuss SRHR? This session will explore ways and means on how to effectively introduce this discussion in services that target young people.

4. For Adults Only- Towards Effective SRHR Integration in Adult Health Services
            There is a rising trend of lifestyle diseases and well as degenerative diseases. How can SHRH be incorporated into these services? Communicable diseases as well as men's health will also be covered,

5. No Voice Unheard- Speaking out on Timely Issues in SRHR
            Violence Against Women (VAW), Human Trafficking and Safe Abortions are topics not may not always be easy to discuss. However, these are timely concerns that affect individuals and societies . This will provide a platform to explore further these concerns.