About the topic
Adolescent, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Approximately 21 million young women aged 15–19 give birth each year—accounting for 11% of all births worldwide—and over 75% of births among women in this age-group occur in developing countries. Pregnancy during adolescence is associated with an increased risk for adverse birth outcomes as well as complications during labour and delivery. Compared to women aged 20-24, mothers under the age of 20 face higher maternal death and health risks and are more likely to miscarry, have a stillbirth, lose their newborn baby.
In many parts of the world, adolescents lack access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, leading to unsafe or unwanted sex, early and unplanned pregnancy, and STI’s, including HIV. Policy and legal barriers, social norms, stigma, and discrimination related to age, gender, marital status, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, HIV-status or disability can prevent adolescents from accessing the information and services they need. Humanitarian and conflict settings further increases barriers to accessing health information and services and increase adolescents’ vulnerability to violence, poverty, separation from families, loss of support systems, child marriage, sexual abuse, transactional sex, and exploitation.
Save the Children’s Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) programs work with adolescents, families, schools, communities, and health systems to increase support for and availability, accessibility and quality of sexual and reproductive health information and services for adolescents. This enables adolescents to make informed decisions about their reproduction and sexual activity free from discrimination, coercion, violence, and infection. Save the Children also implements ASRHR programs in humanitarian settings and works with various NGOs to provide global technical assistance as a member of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crises.