Harmonizing the Legal Environment for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

A review of 23 countries in East and Southern Africa

No. of pages: 24

Publication date: September 2017

Author: UNFPA ESARO

Publisher: UNFPA ESARO

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This study reviews the laws, policies and related frameworks in 23 countries in East and Southern Africa that create either impediments to, or an enabling environment for, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights (SRHR). The assessment resulted in the development of a harmonized regional legal framework, which translates international and regional legal provisions into useful strategies. It gives recommendations based on applicable core legal values and principles, gleaned from a range of conventions, charters, political commitments, guidelines and declarations.

The document provides a summary of findings from the comprehensive study and key recommendations for further legal reform to improve the SRH of adolescents and young people across the region.

It concludes that while governments are making strong progress, demonstrating that young people’s well-being is a priority, there is much more to be done. To ensure the fulfilment of young people’s potential, States need to align and harmonize with international and regional human rights laws, standards and commitments and uphold adolescents and young people’s fundamental human right to SRH.