The main objective is to examine how the Paraguayan laws, policies and regulations (hereafter referred to as normative guidance) specifically address adolescents and their contraceptive information and service needs using a human rights analytic framework. It must be noted that this paper examines the adolescent content of national laws, policies and regulations on contraception, not how they were applied.
The recommendations on "Ensuring human rights in the provision of contraceptive information and services" from the World Health Organization (WHO) were used as an analytic framework to assess current Paraguayan laws, policies and regulations. Three questions were explored: 1) whether the Paraguayan normative guidance relating to each WHO recommendation was present and specifically addressed adolescents 2) whether the normative guidance for each WHO recommendation was present but did not specifically address adolescents, or 3) whether Paraguayan normative guidance relating to each WHO recommendation was absent. This assessment led to the development of an analytic table which was used by the co-authors to generate conclusions and recommendations.
The analysis found specific normative guidance for adolescents relating to six out of nine WHO summary recommendations and nine out of the 24 sub-recommendations. The guidance included strategies to overcome contraceptive service barriers and to improve access for displaced populations. Further, it supported gender-sensitive counselling, quality assurance processes, competency-based training, and monitoring and evaluation of programmes.
Paraguay's contraception laws and policies are grounded in human rights principles. However, there are a number of aspects that need to be addressed in order to improve the quality of contraceptive provision and access for adolescents. Our recommendations include improving accessibility of contraceptive information and services, ensuring acceptability, quality, and accountability of contraceptive information and services, and promoting community and adolescent participation in contraceptive programmes and service delivery.