Jakarta, 14 November 2012 — Millions of people continue struggle for the right to plan the number and spacing of their children, according to a report by UNFPA titled, "State of World Population 2012: By Choice, Not By Chance: Family Planning, Human Rights and Development," which launched in Indonesia today at Jakarta’s InterContinental MidPlaza Hotel.
The report presents evidence that investment in family planning yields profound social and economic benefits for families, communities, and countries. It also outlines actions that governments, international organizations, and civil society should pursue to ensure everyone has the power and the means to decide freely and responsibly how many children to have, and when to have them.
According to UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin, evidence shows that family planning, when integrated into broader economic and social development initiatives, has a positive multiplier effect on human development and nations’ well-being.
"The results of the rights-based approach to sexual and reproductive health and family planning have been extraordinary," Osotimehin said in the report’s foreward.
However, access to family planning is not a human right currently enjoyed by all. According to the report, 222 million women in developing countries worldwide have an unmet need for modern contraceptives, but do not have access to them.
"The international community made a commitment in 1994 to all women, men, and young people to protect their rights as individuals to make one of life’s most fundamental decisions. It is high time we lived up to that commitment and made voluntary family planning available to all," said UNFPA Representative in Indonesia Jose Ferraris at the launch ceremony for the report in Indonesia.
Ferraris announced that this year’s launch of the State of World Population report also heralds the publication of a Special Country Supplement for Indonesia. The supplement explores dimensions of family planning in Indonesia with respect to human rights and development, detailing the nation’s past achievements, current concerns, and future challenges.
Ferraris affirmed UNFPA’s commitment to providing technical support to the government, NGOs, and private sector partners on family planning, population data, and other areas of its mandate.
"Family planning programmes have a very strategic place and are to be implemented in a sector-wide approach," Coordinating Minister of Social Welfare Dr. Agung Laksono added during opening remarks at the report’s launch ceremony.
Acting Chairperson of National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) Subagyo framed UNFPA’s launch of the SWOP report as an opportunity to develop population and family planning programmes that "respond to the challenges of human rights and development issues."
Subagyo highlighted the continued importance of family planning to population and development in Indonesia, citing three reasons: The nation is the world’s fourth most populous country; Indonesia’s total fertility rate, 2.4 children per woman, can still be considered a relatively high number; and lastly, Indonesia’s population growth adds an additional 4.6 million people every year.
The launch ceremony was followed by a panel presentation comprised of four speakers. Demographer Stan Berstein presented an overview of the 2012 State of the World Popoulation report, followed by presentations on family planning practices in Indonesia by BKKBN’s Julianto Witjaksono and human rights dimensions of family planning in Indonesia by Ninuk Widyantoro of the Women’s Health Foundation (YKP). Ascobat Gani of the University of Indonesia’s Centre for Health Economic and Policy Analysis rounded out the presentatinos with insights on the social and economic benefits of family planning in Indonesia.
Prior to the launching, a Media Workshop was organised on November 13, 2012, at Gran Melia Hotel Jakarta, to give journalists better exposure on family planning and its related issues addressed in the State of World Population 2012. The Workshop provided the insights on family planning concept by Dr. Julianto Witjaksono and on human rights concept on family planning by Ms. Ninuk Widyantoro. Approximately 18 journalists from printed, electronic, and online mass media attended the Workshop.