Bodily autonomy and valid consent processes are fundamental to human rights. Sterilisation is an important means of fertility control but should never infringe human rights. Professionals need to be aware of the varied contexts in which sterilisations without due regard to human rights have been done.
Various ideologies, promoted from the late 19th century until well into the second half of the 20th, have contributed to practices of involuntary (forced) sterilisation, especially of those considered to be ‘undesirable’ or a ‘burden to society’. Imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy have all influenced social and economic standards by which people and their fertility are valued.