Forward, Together: A Collaborative Path to Comprehensive Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Our Time

Plesons M., Cole C. B. , Hainsworth G., Avila R., Biaukula K. V. E. , Husain S., ...More

JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH, vol.65, no.6, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.09.009


The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development established a basis for the advancement of adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) that endures today. Twenty-five years later, our vision for the future warrants reflection based on a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges before us. Inclusion of adolescents on global, regional, and national agendas; increased investment in ASRHR policies and programs; renewed commitments to universal health coverage; increased school enrollment; and advances in technology are all critical opportunities we can and must leverage to catalyze progress for adolescents. At the same time, a range of significant challenges remain, have newly emerged, or can be seen on the horizon, including persistent denial of adolescent sexuality; entrenched gender inequality; resistance to meaningfully engaging adolescents and young people in political and programmatic processes; weak systems, integration, and multisectoral coordination; changes in population dynamics; humanitarian and climate crises; and changes in family and community structures. To achieve as much progress toward our vision for ASRHR as possible, the global ASRHR community must take strategic and specific steps in the next 10 years within five areas for action: (1) mobilize and make full use of political and social support for ASRHR policies and programs; (2) increase and make effective use of external and domestic funding for ASRHR; (3) develop, communicate, apply, and monitor enabling and protective laws and policies for ASRHR; (4) use and improve available ASRHR data and evidence to strengthen advocacy, policies, and programs; and (5) manage the implementation of ASRHR strategies at scale with quality and equity. (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.