Sexual and reproductive health promotion is a difficult area to traverse as it is not only about relationship and health education it is also heavily overlayed with values and beliefs. This may seem even more daunting when working with individuals and families from refugee backgrounds, given perceived cultural differences and language barriers, and the myriad of settlement tasks and adjustments that individuals and families are engaging in and undergoing during early settlement.
In 2010, the Victorian Refugee Health Network brought together key stakeholders in the field to have a discussion about how the health, settlement and social sectors could better support people from refugee backgrounds access sexual and reproductive health information. A briefing paper was developed for the working group.
Recognising a need for further discussion about approaches to promoting sexual and reproductive health with women, men and young people from refugee backgrounds, the Victorian Refugee Health Network, Multicultural Health and Support Service and Family Planning Victoria hosted roundtables in September 2011 with bicultural workers and people who had a role in sexual and reproductive health promotion.
The Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health has subsequently established the Multicultural Sexual Health Network.