About this Research Topic
Despite increased international attention to the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people aged 10-24 years globally in recent years, critical gaps and challenges remain. In particular, the transition to adulthood for many young people is already a tumultuous period; however, the challenges that young people face with regard to their sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings are immense.
Whether caused by natural disasters, armed conflict or multiple intersecting crises, young people in humanitarian emergencies are left to navigate the transition to adulthood coping with trauma, the loss or breakdown of family, peer and wider social networks, and disruptions in access to supportive institutions, such as school. Such contexts can also lead to upending traditions and community norms. Further, many young people in humanitarian settings face new vulnerabilities, such as a heightened risk of sexual violence and rape and limited or no access to health services, while many girls and young women are at risk of child marriage, unwanted pregnancy and maternal death and disability.
Given the increasingly protracted nature of humanitarian crises, much of this critical life-period may take place in such settings.
The literature focused on SRHR of young people in humanitarian contexts remains extremely limited. Intervention studies are often of limited quality and lack rigorous evaluations and clear outcomes. Few longitudinal studies exist that analyze trajectories through youth and into adulthood in such settings. Very few studies examine the SRHR needs of very young adolescents between the ages of 10-14 years in humanitarian settings. Additionally, the vast majority of studies are focused on adolescent females, with far less attention paid to adolescent males.
The goal of this Research Topic is to highlight research on the SRHR needs of young people in a wide range of humanitarian settings, including those in acute and protracted emergencies and natural disasters. While much research is needed on the full spectrum of SRHR among young people facing crisis, particular gaps include quality of care, access to abortion, maternal health, and the needs of sexual minority populations. Further, there remains limited research on approaches to prevent sexual and gender-based violence and child marriage, especially through gender transformative approaches and addressing social norms. Research that highlights the voices, perceptions and lived experiences of young people in relation to their SRHR is needed to better understand the realities that young men and women face in these settings and to design programs that meet their specific needs and priorities.
For this Research Topic, we are interested in receiving submissions focused on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings. Research can be from humanitarian contexts related to disaster, conflict, in both the global North and South, and can be intervention focused or descriptive. We welcome Original Research, Reviews, Policy and Practice Reviews Community Case Studies, Policy Briefs, and Brief Research Reports as part of the Topic.
While a broad range of topics will be considered, cross cutting research focused on the following domains is of particular interest:
1. Very young adolescents (ages 10-14)
2. Gender and social norms
3. Young men and boys
4. Access to, youth perceptions of and quality of care
5. Co-designing, co-implementing and/or co-evaluating SRHR interventions with young people
6. Economic evaluations (standalone or embedded within wider evaluations) of SRHR interventions for young people.
Keywords: conflict; natural disaster, humanitarian settings; adolescence; gender; sexual and reproductive health; girls; boys; refugees; displaced
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.