Sexual and reproductive health

Young people need good-quality comprehensive sexuality education

Image of guideline front cover

10 January 2018 | The fully revised UN International technical guidance on sexuality education advocates for quality comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) to promote health and well-being, respect for human rights and gender equality, and empowers children and young people to lead healthy, safe and productive lives.

Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

Image of the guide front cover
Photo: UNICEF/Asselin

19 October 2017: For the first time, WHO has published guidelines to help (primarily) front-line healthcare providers give high-quality, compassionate, and respectful care to children and adolescents (up to age 18) who have or may have experienced sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape.

International Day of the Girl Child 2017:
EmPOWER girls

Girls gather outside their temporary classroom in a camp for internally displaced people, North Darfur

11 October 2017: WHO joins individuals, communities and organizations worldwide in marking this year’s International Day of the Girl Child. This event commemorates the importance of gender equality and human rights for the well-being and health of girls and young women everywhere. It recognizes that empowering girls to achieve their full potential is also essential for their families and for their societies.

Gender inequality in early adolescence must be addressed for health and well-being throughout life

Group of adolescents in Bangladesh.
Ricci Coughlan/DFID

20 September 2017: When children move into early adolescence, they begin to take on new gender roles associated with femininity and masculinity, often reinforcing socially and culturally conventional gender norms related with being women or men. These gender roles have an impact upon the decisions that young people in early adolescence make, and therefore upon their health and well-being. They have an impact on the choices young adolescents make in relation to sexual and inter-personal relationships, which can have an effect on their health and well-being throughout the rest of their lives.

Engaging with youth for the promotion of peace

12 August 2017: This year's International Youth Day takes the theme of “Youth Building Peace”.
Today’s generation of youth (defined by the UN as persons aged 18 through 29) is the largest the world has ever known and as such will have a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow. To this end, youth need to be actively engaged and invited to participate in the design and development of research and programmes that affect them. This was recognised by the UN Security Council in its 2015 resolution urging Member States to increase representation of youth in decision-making at all levels. Whilst the resolution focused primarily on global security, it is equally relevant for health.

WHO releases new fact sheets on adolescent contraceptive use

A Youth to Youth group in Mombasa, Kenya, go for a community outreach on the beach.
Jonathan Torgovnik
A Youth to Youth group in Mombasa, Kenya, go for a community outreach on the beach.

16 December 2016 - WHO has launched a set of fact sheets which disaggregate existing data to highlight key information on the use and non-use of contraceptives by adolescents (ages 15-19) in 58 low and middle-income countries across the world.

What works to improve young people’s sexual and reproductive health

Photo of adolescents in Asia region
Juan Daniel Torres, Courtesy of Photoshare

22 August 2016: New research published today shows that there are number of intervention studies which can help to improve health outcomes in young people (ages 10-24), but there is no single action or intervention which can work for all young people, to address all of their needs. While several high-quality studies were found, they may only be applicable in specific settings for specific outcomes. More evidence is needed to show whether they can apply to other settings or help to improve additional sexual and reproductive health outcomes for young people.

Comments sought for a Global Accelerated Action for Adolescent Health (AA-HA!) Framework

7-28 March 2016 - Online survey - To support planning, implementation and monitoring of a SURVIVE, THRIVE and TRANSFORM response to the health needs of adolescents in line with Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) and its Operational Framework, WHO and partners are developing a Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (the Global AA-HA! Framework). Comments are now sought for initial inputs into the Framework, from representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, youth groups, and from individual citizens. The online survey is open from 7-28 March 2016.

fact buffet

Adolescent pregnancy

1 millionAbout 1 million girls under 15 give birth every year—most in low- and middle-income countries.

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Unsafe abortions

3 millionEvery year, some 3 million girls aged 15 to 19 undergo unsafe abortions.

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Child marriages

39 000Child marriages: 39 000 every day. More than 140 million girls will marry between 2011 and 2020

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Sample core instruments

These instruments are intended to be no more than a starting point for investigators wishing to study the sexual and reproductive health of young people. Authors caution that these instruments should always be adapted to local circumstances and research priorities and, wherever possible, be used in conjunction with each other.

TEDx Talks

Why we shouldn’t shy away from sexual education
Dr V. Chandra-Mouli, WHO/HRP

11th World Congress on Adolescent Health

Dr. V. Chandra-Mouli from WHO talks about the need for, & right to Sexuality Education for Adolescents. October 2017