an Inter-agency Symposium on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations
held in Geneva, Switzerland in June 1995, more than 50 governments,
non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and UN agencies committed
themselves to strengthening reproductive health (RH) services
to refugees. Following the symposium, an Inter-agency Field
Manual on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations was produced
and distributed for field-testing around the world.
1999 revision of the Field Manual is the result of two years of
field use and comprehensive field-testing conducted under the
auspices of the Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health
in Refugee Situations. More than 100 experienced staff from 50
agencies working in refugee situations in 17 countries applied
the Field Manual in their programmes and provided comments and
suggestions for improving the content of the publication.
Field Manual supports the delivery of quality RH services. Technical
standards included in the Field Manual are those set by the World
Health Organization. In several important areas, the Field Manual
provides programmatic direction with frequent reference to additional
resource materials that should be obtained and used to ensure
comprehensive and reliable RH services for refugees.
managers of health services in refugee situations are the primary
audience for the Field Manual. Community-services officers, protection
officers and others working to meet the needs of refugee women,
young people and men should also benefit from the guidance offered
in the Field Manual.
purposes of the Field Manual are:
serve as a tool to facilitate discussion and decision-making
in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
of RH interventions;
guide field staff in introducing and/or strengthening RH interventions
in refugee situations, based on refugee needs and demands
and with full respect for their beliefs and values; and
advocate for a multi-sectoral approach to meeting the RH needs
of refugees and to foster coordination among all partners.
One lays the foundation for the subsequent technical chapters
on reproductive health and provides the guiding principles for
undertaking all RH care. It should be read carefully.
components of reproductive health described in the Field Manual