refugee camp

Refugees and SRHR

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are essential parts of everyone’s life, including the lives of refugees. Refugees are confronted with problems that often touch upon the broad spectrum of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In the current national and international refugee crisis Rutgers wants to focus more on the SRHR of young people, women and men. This may include treatment of trauma, medical aid, contraception, abortion, treatment of STIs, and sexuality education in a socially safe setting. Rutgers has much to offer because of its extensive expertise in SRHR.

group of refugeesRutgers has successfully combined research, development of interventions, training and advice, information delivery and advocacy.

We are used to intensively cooperating with many, different organisations and various networks in the Netherlands, Europe, Africa and Asia. In our work we acknowledge and respect differences in culture and religion. 

Below you can find a selection from our products and services for refugees and migrants and the professionals who work with them, both in the Netherlands as well as abroad.

Refugees and asylumseekers are extra vulnerable. They, too, have the right to correct information about sexual and reproductive health, and access to help and counseling whenever they have questions or problems.

Ineke van der Vlugt 
Programme coordinator

Tools for professionals


The mentor method “Welcome to school” (by Pharos and Rutgers) consists of Relationships and Sexuality Education lessons for young refugees and new arrivals in the young migrants classes in the Netherlands. Explicit attention is being paid to relationships and sexuality education, gender expectations and roles, sexual morality and rules and regulations in the Netherlands. Several themes are explored, such as falling in love, relationships, puberty, empowerment and sexual health with an eye for cultural diversity.


Rutgers offers extensive schooling to (Dutch) teachers, professionals in youth health care, obstetriccare and primary health care. Subjects that are touched upon: how to talk about sensitive issues, how to connect with norms and values regarding sexuality, how to show cultural sensitivity in this? Furthermore, we give worldwide SRHR training on gender equality and empowerment to intermediaries of young people and to trainers in CSE and HIV-prevention.


The central objective of the MenCare+ programme (by Rutgers and Promundo) is to transform social and cultural norms and behaviours that are harmful to SRHR and mother and child health outcomes by encouraging young and adult men to become caring partners and fathers. MenCare+ consists of the following interventions:

  •  Men’s group therapy programme (Pillars of Peace)
  • Toolkit for men: male counselling in the context of intimate partner violence
  • Father Groups
  • Workshops to help young men refl ect on rigid norms related to manhood and how this relates to SRHR
  • Campaign on positive male role models.

Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) training

  • SRHR training for intermediairies of young people and trainers on comprehensive sexuality education and HIV prevention for young people. Goal is to improve the skills of participants to provide comprehensive sexuality education to young people.
  • Introduction to SRHR of adolescents and young people. This training manual focuses on youthfriendly services, comprehensive sexuality education and creating a safe environment for children and young people.

Gender training

  • Resilience- and SRHR training for refugee girls and boys with the help of sport activities. Aim is to improve SRHR health, increase self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Training to reshape gender relations to be more gender equitable, largely through approaches that ‘free both women and men from the impact of destructive gender and sexual norms’, such as the Gender Box Tool.


Rutgers has carried out extensive studies into young people’s and adults’ sexual reproductive health and has monitored implementation and impact of interventions. These interventions include questionnaires to carry out formative research and needs assessments. By monitoring and evaluating impact, research is used in order to adjust interventions.

Public Information

With a great number of brochures and information leafl ets Rutgers offers young people and adults information on contraception, the morning-after pill, contraception after child birth, and STIs/HIV etcetera. These will be translated and made accessible to asylum seekers and refugees.

Read also