12 questions and answers about sexual and reproductive health and rights
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education is a lifelong journey. Every year, the onset of adolescence changes the bodies of millions of girls and boys. Access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services plays a crucial role in safeguarding the well-being of each adolescent, preparing them for a safe, productive and satisfying life, and also in protecting them from diseases, unwanted pregnancies, and human rights abuses, including gender-based violence and discrimination. This is particularly important for those who are on the move or living in a situation of forced displacement.
On the occasion of World Sexual health Day, UNFPA, the United Nation Population Fund, and UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, launch a youth-friendly brochure on sexual and reproductive health and rights, specifically targeting young people, including migrant and refugee girls and boys in Italy, with the aim to provide them with useful information on SRH and available services.
The transition from adolescence to adulthood involves biological-physical, socio-emotional and cognitive changes that are common to all human beings. Migrant and refugee adolescents must also contend with the transition related to life on the move, which detaches them from their origins and imposes the need to build a new life in a different cultural and social environment. Specific support will help to make their way to a healthier future through services that respect their diverse religious and cultural backgrounds and that are equally accessible, with a specific focus on their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Young people around the world continue to face barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services, especially in case of humanitarian crises, poverty, displacement and insecurity . This situation has been exacerbated in the past few years by the COVID-19 pandemic, with health systems overwhelmed and sexual and reproductive health services curtailed.
The brochure launched by UNFPA and UNICEF is built upon common questions that adolescents, including those on the move, might have about sexual and reproductive health and rights. It aims to equip adolescents with knowledge, attitudes and values that will give them the means to express themselves - respecting their health, well-being and dignity - to develop respectful social and sexual relationships.
It was jointly developed in close consultation with youth through a process of co-creation, revealing their need for information, knowledge gaps on SRH and existing services. The youth friendly brochure, which is part of the programme ‘Strengthening Refugee and Migrant Children’s Health Status in Southern and South Eastern Europe’, co-funded by the Health Programme of the European Union, can be downloaded below.
 https://www.who.int/teams/sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-research-(srh)/areas-of-work/adolescent-and-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights ; https://www.unfpa.org/resources/adolescent-sexual-and-reproductive-health-programs-humanitarian-settings-0 ; https://www.unfpa.org/news/refugees’-and-migrants’-reproductive-health-needs-overlooked