Sexual and reproductive health

Promoting and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents

Policy Brief - 4

World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research

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Publication details

Number of pages: 3
Publication date: 2006
Languages: English, Russian


In 2005, there were 1.21 billion adolescents (people aged 10–19 years) in the world – the largest-ever number in the history of mankind. Population in this age group is estimated to continue to increase until the year 2040, to finally reach 1.23 billion. Addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs and problems of adolescents is a crucial element of the WHO Global Reproductive Health Strategy.

In many parts of the world the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents are either poorly understood or not fully appreciated. Evidence is growing that this neglect can seriously jeopardize the health and future well-being of young people. This policy brief is intended for policy-makers, programme managers and others engaged in the planning and implementation of programmes on sexual and reproductive health. It highlights what needs to be done to promote and protect the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents.

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