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Medium: Sexual and Reproductive Health: It’s a Human Right in Every Setting

In Medium, the Women’s Refugee Commission’s Sandra Krause and Lily Jacobi write how women and girls displaced by conflict or crisis face a host of sexual and reproductive health-related risks. These include sexual and gender-based violence; sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV; unintended pregnancy; and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Indeed, lack of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care is one of the leading causes of death, disease, and disability among displaced women and girls of reproductive age.

Twenty-five years ago, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) published findings from eight humanitarian settings that revealed a dearth of SRH services in displacement settings. We found that individuals, whether in a refugee camp, a detention center, or a village hosting asylum seekers, did not have access to contraception, safe abortion care, or services to prevent STIs and HIV. There were virtually no programs to prevent or respond to sexual violence.