The international target of universal access to reproductive health is vital to the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to the effective implementation of population, health, and development policies. Attaining sexual and reproductive health and rights for all requires an essential policy package, which originated at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and remains relevant today.

This essential policy package consists of:

  • a core group of integrated and universally accessible sexual and reproductive health services; buttressed by
  • comprehensive sexuality education for adolescents in and out of school; and
  • the implementation of laws and policies that protect the human rights of all persons, including their sexual and reproductive rights.

This IWHC brief defines the core group of sexual and reproductive health services in the essential policy package; explains the advantages of integrated services over separate vertical programs; and identifies a number of pathways to accomplishing their integration. Companion briefs describe the policy package as a whole and the elements of comprehensive sexuality education.