Senegal: the UN Committee calls for the decriminalisation of abortion

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On 27 July 2015, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women recommended that the Senegalese authorities amend the legislation criminalising abortion and ensure that it is legally available in cases of threats to the life or health of the pregnant woman, rape, incest or serious foetal malformation.

The recommendations echoed the concerns and suggestions expressed by FIDH and its member and partner organisations in a report published in November 2014 entitled Senegal: “I don’t want this child. I want to go to school”.

On 7 July 2015 the Committee reviewed the progress made by Senegal in fulfilling its international obligations to women’s rights. During this review, a delegation composed of FIDH and the Association des juristes sénégalaises (AJS Association of Senegalese Women Lawyers) helped the Committee with its work by providing information on violations of Senegalese women’s rights stemming from the ban on abortion: rate of clandestine abortions, effects on the health of women and children, number of women incarcerated for abortion or infanticide, school drop out rate, etc.

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