In 1994, the world’s governments adopted a landmark Programme of Action on population and development. The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt, recognized reproductive rights as human rights and declared that the principles of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment were crucial to effective population and development strategies. Since then, some important steps have been taken to realize the commitments made. However, as the 20-year review approaches, it is painfully clear that progress has been uneven and slow and that, in relation to sexual and reproductive health specifically, it has been, at best, mixed. Drawing on Amnesty International’s research, this briefing highlights the need to ensure that human rights standards form the backbone of the review and of future implementation plans. It ends with a series of recommendations to end exclusion, increase participation and accountability, and ensure sexual and reproductive rights as human rights. Respect for sexual and reproductive rights is essential for human dignity and for the enjoyment of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being. Amnesty International calls on governments to reaffirm their commitment to respect, protect and fulfil these human rights.