Publications on Adolescents

Resource | Fact Sheets,
We need to ensure a balance between protecting adolescents (age 10-19 years) from harm and respecting their agency and right to sexual and reproductive health (SRH). This factsheet addresses the issue of ‘rights versus protection’ through (1) Laws related to age of marriage; (2) age of consent to sex; and (3) age of consent to services.These laws which are intended to protect young people also need to incorporate adolescents’ agency and context of their lives. Adolescents’ agency needs to be at the centre of efforts to develop and implement legislation that impacts their lives.
 
 
Resource | Fact Sheets,
In the Asia and Pacific region, 23 million adolescents aged 15-19 years are currently married or in union. Child marriage and early union (formal or informal, before the age of 18 years) is common throughout much of the region, with the highest prevalence in South Asia and some Pacific countries. The legal age of marriage should be 18, and all countries should enact legislation to prohibit forced marriage and remove exemptions that allow nonconsensual child marriage. However, treating all unions under the age of 18 years as forced and invalid can have harmful consequences. Enforcement of laws can cause harm to the girls we are intending to protect. Understanding the different forms of early marriage and union in the context of adolescent development and agency is critical to ensuring the implementation of child marriage legislation does not cause harm.
 
 
Resource | Fact Sheets,
Health services play an important role in reducing preventable poor health and supporting young people to make a healthy transition into adulthood. While many countries in Asia and the Pacific have made considerable progress towards effective coverage, and to some extent equitable coverage, of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, progress has not been realised for adolescents (age 10-19 years). Many national universal health coverage programmes exclude SRH services that are of particular priority and importance for adolescents. As a result, young people (age 15-24 years) continue to have a high unmet need for essential SRH services and coverage is particularly low among rural, less educated, poorer, and marginalised young people. This factsheet summarizes key recommendations to improve the inclusion of adolescents and young people in universal health coverage.
 
 
Resource | Publications,
This review provides an update to the 2015 report highlighting the current status of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and examines key SRHR priorities in Asia and the Pacific to support informed policy, programming and advocacy. This review has a particular focus on current evidence, policy and programme approaches related to key SRHR priorities in the region: child marriage and early union; adolescent pregnancy; young people with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity; SRH in a digital age; comprehensive sexuality education; and universal health coverage for adolescent SRH.
 
 
Resource | Tools,
This publication, produced by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, has been developed to support the implementation of the WHO Guidelines on mental health promotive and preventive interventions for adolescents, released in 2020. The Toolkit includes a core set of evidence-informed strategies to promote and protect adolescent mental health. These strategies are: the implementation and enforcement of laws and policies; the creation of safe environments; the provision of support to parents and other caregivers; and the implementation of programmes focused on helping adolescents develop social skills and emotional intelligence. Tools to guide implementation and examples of programmes already introduced around the world are included.
 
 
Resource | Publications,
The State of the World’s Midwifery (SoWMy) 2021 builds on previous reports in the SoWMy series and represents an unprecedented effort to document the whole world’s Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent Health (SRMNAH) workforce, with a particular focus on midwives. It calls for urgent investment in midwives to enable them to fulfil their potential to contribute towards UHC and the SDG agenda.
 
 
Resource | Publications,
The HLM Youth Guide has been developed by The PACT and UNAIDS to provide young people with information and guidance on what is and how to engage in the High-Level Meeting on HIV & AIDS that will take place from 8-10 June at the United Nations General Assembly. The intended audience of this Guide are young activists and youth-led organizations working on HIV and SRHR at all levels of the response, especially those key populations most affected by HIV.
 
 
Resource | Publications,
Recent guidance by WHO and other United Nations partners – Global accelerated action for the health of adolescents (AA-HA!): guidance to support country implementation – recommended that “every school should be a health promoting school”. This is in line with the redefinition of school health. A standards-driven approach to the implementation of this recommendation is expected to accelerate global progress by addressing key areas for improvement, as identified at an expert meeting convened by WHO in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2015. One of the priorities identified was to establish systems for collecting better data, monitoring, reporting, providing evidence and utilizing that evidence to make policy and to plan implementation.
 
 
Resource | Publications,
The internet has become one of the primary sources of community and support for children and adolescent girls and boys, and they increasingly turn to it for information about sensitive issues such as sexuality, relationships, or health. Mobile phones and other digital devices allow them to find answers to their questions in relative privacy, anytime and anywhere. Chatbots are among the latest digital products being developed by those seeking to serve children and adolescents when it comes to digital sexuality education.
 
 
Resource | Guidelines,
The Guidelines on promotive and preventive mental health interventions for adolescents - Helping Adolescents thrive (HAT), provide evidence-informed recommendations on psychosocial interventions to promote mental health, prevent mental disorders, and reduce self-harm and other risk behaviours among adolescents. The HAT Guidelines aims to inform policy development, service planning and the strengthening of health and education systems, and facilitate mainstreaming of adolescent mental health promotion and prevention strategies across sectors and delivery platforms.