In January 2015, the Journal of Adolescent Health published a special supplement reviewing progress on advancing adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).
The supplement, which was fostered by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), identifies several promising programs that can be scaled up and implemented in different settings. The following IWHC fact sheets summarize the findings of the five articles in the supplement, and outline key intergovernmental agreements and commitments to promoting adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Comprehensive Sexuality Education: What We Know
Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) uses participatory teaching methods and incorporates lessons on gender norms, power in relationships, and human rights. Evidence shows that CSE programs are more likely to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy than abstinence-only or conventional sex education programs. This fact sheet highlights the key elements that have made CSE programs effective across different settings.
Preventing Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Among Adolescents: What We Know
A review of 61 interventions aimed at preventing intimate partner violence and sexual violence among adolescents revealed three promising strategies: school-based programs that educate adolescents about healthy relationships, community-based interventions that promote gender equality and reduce tolerance for gender-based violence, and parenting interventions that help build safe homes and reduce risk factors that lead to perpetration of violence.
Creating an Enabling Environment for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: What We Know
To improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health, it is essential to build a supportive environment. This means working with parents, community members, and policymakers, and addressing factors at the individual, relationship, community, and societal levels. Interventions like creating safe spaces for girls and engaging parents are often essential to improving health outcomes.
Providing Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Services: What We Know
Research has shown that the most successful programs providing sexual and reproductive health services to young people are those that train health workers to provide youth-friendly services, modify health facilities so they are acceptable and accessible to adolescents, and generate demand for services via schools, the community, and mass media.
Ensuring Youth Participation in Sexual and Reproductive Health Policies and Programs: What We Know
When youth are meaningfully engaged in developing sexual and reproductive health programs and policies, they can become active agents and leaders in their communities, taking responsibility and making decisions about their own lives. This fact sheet outlines key elements of youth participation and suggests promising approaches to increase engagement.