CREA believes consent represents one of the most significant human rights standards to advance sexual legitimacy for all those who are at the margins.
CREA affirms that reframing the definition of consent and the accompanying work to shift consent standards within legal and other social and religious institutions needs to be a strategic priority for feminist organisations and movements.
CREA reiterates that unless the dynamic context within which power imbalances are being constantly renegotiated with regard to gender and sexual relations is not embedded within a expansive and rights-affirming definition of consent in our laws, policies and public discourse (narrative) sexual rights and legitimacy cannot be advanced in meaningful ways.
CREA recognises that there have been historic shifts in social attitudes and practices regarding consent but these have had fragmented effects in improving the conditions within which meaningful and informed consent can be negotiated by those at the margins.
CREA acknowledges that the definition of consent has evolved from `No means No’ to a more affirmative understanding of consent that `Yes means Yes’ and today is being redefined to include `Not every Yes means Yes.’ However, this adds to the complexity of advancing human rights standards that can reflect these nuances.
CREA’s advocacy to decriminalise sex work, abortion and sexual orientation and advance right-based approaches to define legal capacity for those with disabilities integrally addresses the barriers and seeks to create enabling conditions to ensure everyone can exercise meaningful consent.
Global Dialogue on Decriminalisation, Choice and Consent.
CREA; Amnesty International; Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School
and Global Health Justice Partnership, Yale Law School
Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, Italy; 22-24 October 2014