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Now more than ever, we must ensure that the marginalized, the forgotten—the ones often left behind—can exercise their fundamental human right to decide, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, when or how often to have children.

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is proud to have enabled millions of women of childbearing age to exercise that right and to have helped to nearly double modern contraceptive use worldwide from 36 per cent in 1970 to 64 per cent in 2016.

This annual report shows how funds entrusted to UNFPA have enabled us to protect and promote the health and rights of millions of women and young people and enable them to realize their full potential.

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A portrait of women's lives in Syria and neighbouring countries

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For the first time since World War II, Europe is experiencing a massive movement of refugees and migrants, women, girls, men and boys of all ages, fleeing armed conflicts, mass killings, persecution and pervasive sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Many seek refuge in Europe from the ongoing armed conflicts that have torn apart their societies, and are entitled to protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention, its subsequent Protocol, and other international instruments.From January to November 2015, Europe witnessed 950,469 refugee and migrant arrivals through the Mediterranean, with Greece receiving the vast majority of arrivals (797,372). Those arriving by sea are fleeing the Syrian Arab Republic (49%), Afghanistan (20%), Iraq (8%), Eritrea (4%), Nigeria (2%), Pakistan (2%), Somalia (2%), Sudan (1%), Gambia (1%) and Mali (1%). The majority travel to Turkey, from where they undertake a treacherous journey by sea to Greece and then make their way through the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria in an attempt to reach their destination countries, including Germany and Sweden. Each day brings new arrivals, and accurate data remains a challenge.Refugees and migrants are travelling en masse, striving urgently to reach their destination from fear of border closures, potentially increased restrictions in asylum policies and the onset of winter. 

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Shelter From the Storm: A transformative agenda for women and girls in a crisis-prone world

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UNFPA CO in Skopje, FYROM fact-sheet 

 

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