Adolescents face significant barriers that undermine their sexual and reproductive health and rights—including lack of access to comprehensive sexuality education and essential sexual and reproductive health services. As a result, one in four adolescents has an unmet need for contraception and seven million adolescents give birth each year.
Enabling girls to make informed and autonomous decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health is critical for fulfilling their human rights and ensuring access to education, economic opportunities, social empowerment, and financial independence.
That’s why the issue of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) is among the main focus areas of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The Center works around the world to guarantee adolescents the full exercise of their SRHR, including their rights to make informed decisions about their sexuality and reproduction and to access sexual and reproductive health services–including contraception, abortion care, and maternal health care, as well as comprehensive sexuality education.
Center’s Session on Adolescent SRHR Featured at UN’s Generation Equality Forum
The Center’s session, developed in partnership with the Youth Coalition, UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Plan International, and the Government of Sweden, has been chosen for the Forum’s official program—one of the fewer than 1% of events accepted for the program.
Titled “My Body is My Own: Young Women’s and Adolescent Girls’ Bodily Autonomy and Decision-making,” the session took place at the Forum on Thursday, July 1, 2021. Watch the replay here.
- A young woman’s experience facing barriers in accessing reproductive care, followed by answers to the question “What does bodily autonomy mean to you?” submitted by youth and adolescents on social media.
- Ways that stakeholders can better ensure that the rights and needs of adolescents are central in the design and execution of adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and how they can help increase accountability for adolescent rights-fulfillment.
- How ensuring the full range of SRH services for adolescents is central to realizing global commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Beijing Platform for Action.
The Center’s Enid Muthoni, Vice President of Global Programs, was among the global experts speaking on the panel.
Click here to watch the replay of “My Body is My Own: Young Women’s and Adolescent Girls’ Bodily Autonomy and Decision-making.”
The Generation Equality Forum, held June 30 – July 2 in Paris, brings together governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, young people, and other changemakers from around the world to advance policies and investments promoting gender equality. For more information and to register for the three-day Generation Equality Forum, click here.
Center’s Work Promotes Adolescent Autonomy and Decision-making Across the World
The Center works to strengthen laws, policies and practices to ensure that the human rights of girls and adolescents are respected, protected and fulfilled within global arenas and at the regional, national, and community level, and to seek justice when their rights are violated.
Some of the Center’s recent publications and initiatives on adolescent SRHR include:
- Capacity and Consent: Empowering Adolescents to Exercise their Reproductive Rights
- Criminalizing Adolescence
- Improving International Human Rights Standards on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
- Access to SRHR Information by Women and Girls in Kenya
- Youth Reproductive Rights and the COVID-19 Response
- Federal Bill Would Promote Youth Sex Education in U.S.
- Landmark Ruling Will Help Protect Schoolgirls from Sexual Violence Throughout Latin America
- The Status of Adolescents’ Reproductive Rights in the Philippines: 2020 Submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child
- Ending Impunity for Child Marriage in India: Normative and Implementation Gaps
- Fighting the Expulsion of Pregnant Girls from Schools in Tanzania
- They Are Girls: Reproductive Rights Violations in Latin America and the Caribbean
For more information on the Center’s work on adolescent SRHR, click here.