UNFPA Tasks FG On Family Planning

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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that basic human rights to reproductive choices are enshrined in the constitution to harness demographic dividends and reduce poverty.
The acting Country Representative of the fund, Dr Eugene Kongnyuy, made the appeal while briefing newsmen as part of activities to commemorate 2018 World Population Day on Monday in Abuja.
The briefing was organised by the National Population Commission (NPopC) in collaboration with UNFPA and other stakeholders.
Kongnyuy said the right to decide the number of children you want to have and the spacing you want to have was so fundamental.
“Family Planning (FP) is a fundamental right because none of us here goes to somebody else and ask of the number of children he wants or the spacing; you have to decide for yourself,” the UN official said.
He added that UNFPA was now thinking that such right should be enshrined into the Constitution of the country.
“Everybody should have access to the right because it goes beyond the fundamental human right; it also empowers women, it gives opportunity for women to go to school, enable the women to have jobs and reduces poverty.
“There is no way we can fight poverty if half of the population (women) are not working; FP gives us the opportunities for that,” according to him.
Earlier, Mr Eze Duruiheoma, the Chairman of NPopC, said the theme of 2018 World Population Day is `Family Planning as a Human Right’.
He added that the theme was a reminder to the first proclamation on FP as human right made on May 13, 1968, at the conclusion of UN International Conference on Human Rights.
” As a signatory to the declaration, the day provides an opportunity for Nigeria to reflect on efforts made over decades to empower the relevant population groups to exercise the right,” the chairman said.
He said basic human rights to reproductive choices encompasses two other human rights which include right to information about access to contraception, education and means to determine the number and spacing of children.
The chairman added that the other was the right to decide freely the number and spacing of children without any coercion or compulsion and discrimination.