Highlight during the Regional Youth Forum 2012

YSNAP has conducted our annual event; Regional Youth Forum 2012! This event was conducted for three days from 4th – 6th July 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand. There were 23 youth representative coming from 23 countries in East and South-east Asia and Oceania region during this event.
Some highlight during the event:

  • We have chosen one new regional council youth members, she is Zoe Stewart from Australia!
  • Be careful, we have formed a new task force for advocacy in regional and international processes with our focus on advocating Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Youth Friendly Services, and promoting Sexual Rights!
  • A new youth resolution which focus on capacity building, strengthen the youth media, youth network management, and strengthen youth’s capacity in governance body!

Enjoy the pic! 😀

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Learning from Philippines!

On last June, YSNAP got a chance to learn from Family Planning Organization of the Philippines about youth mobilisation. Philippines is one of the country where young people and particularly young people in SRHR movement involve meaningfully.

We were visiting three of FPOP’s chapters; Iloilo, GenSan, and Tandang Sora and met a lot of dynamic young people!

Outreach activity by FPOP Iloilo chapter

The youth network in Gensan chapter where young people from different activism has worked together to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Two dynamics young people in GenSan, Marie and Fitz who facilitated session on youth’s sexuality.

In the mid of our visit, we were having a dinner with some youth advocates in Manila. They shared a lot to us their experience working with youth’s SRHR and Reproductive Health Bill that has not yet been passed by Congress in Philippines for 14 years! The dinner was nice and we got a lot of insight how YSNAP can build youth network in regional level.

Our last visit is to Tandang Sora chapter where at that time we visited them, they were doing outreach and mobile clinics to young Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and Transgender (TG) community.

To sum up, it’s fun to be in Philippines where young people are very dynamic and have a lot of room to explore!

How can we make the outcome of UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) meeting relevant to our work?

This year, one of the most important events related to young people has been held in New York. Perhaps some of you might have known it through our facebook page and twitter update on #CPD2012 about the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) meeting in United Nations headquarter in New York, USA.

CPD session is one of the international avenue that serves as a platform to set policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights. In this year as the theme is “youth and adolescent” it would be very important to monitor government’s commitment toward young people’s rights after making this outcome in national level.

CPD session is important, looking back to the history since its first milestone on International Conference on Population and Development on 1994 in Cairo, Egypt. This conference has been acknowledged as one the most progressive UN conference that changes the dominant paradigm on population and development from population dynamic perspective to rights-based perspective. And also in this conference, reproductive rights have been adopted as a part of human rights that has to be respected.

A lot of resolution for youth and adolescent were made and (controversial) language (sensitive) topics such as adolescent sexuality, sexual rights and reproductive rights, comprehensive sexuality education, access to sexual and reproductive health services, early and forced marriage, and parental rights and responsibilities were negotiated and put into the outcome.

This is the highlight of the resolution from the last 45th CPD session which is considered as victory for Sexual and Reproductive rights activist:

  • Recognize and protect the human rights of adolescents and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters relating to their sexuality, including sexual and reproductive health, regardless of age and marital status (OP 7).
  • To eliminate harmful practices, including, among others, female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, which are violations of the human rights of women and girls (OP 9)
  • To eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls and young women, to remove all obstacles to gender equality, to promote the empowerment of girls and young women in all aspects of youth development, and to encourage boys and young men to participate fully in all actions toward gender equality (OP 16)
  • To promote positive male role models and programmes for boys to become gender-sensitive adults; and to enable men to support, promote and respect women’s sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights (OP 17)
  • To provide youth friendly services that respect young people’s privacy and confidentiality and remove legal, regulatory and social barriers to reproductive health information and care for adolescents (OP 25).
  • Provide young people with sexuality education (agreed language: evidence-based and comprehensive education on human sexuality, on sexual and reproductive health, human rights, and gender equality) (OP 26).
  • To increase and strengthen services for sexual and reproductive health including safe abortion where legal, family planning, STI, and HIV  (OP 27).
  • Promote gender equality and the empowerment of girls and young women in all aspects of youth development (PP 13)
  • Recognition of early and forced marriage and forced sexual relationships as violating adolescent and young girls ; human rights (PP 14)
  • Provide contraceptive access for women living with HIV and AIDS (PP17).
  • Effective youth participationto actively support and invest in increased participation of young people and in youth-led and youth-focused organizations(OP 31, 32).

 

Read the full outcome document here https://www.facebook.com/notes/ippf-eseaor-youth-network/45th-cpd-outcome-document/370857126293882

The question is: how could we able to make this resolution relevant in our national context, specifically on youth policy? First of all, this international recognition can be an argument for you to advocate for various issues related to young people health and rights. Since a lot of issues such as sexuality education (OP 26), youth friendly services (OP 25), and safe abortion (OP27) have been acknowledged, you can use the reference to your work in national level and ask for your government to implement their commitment.

Second, this resolution is one of the most progressive documents related to young people’s SRHR. It can be used as a strong reference for the next CPD 46th session on migration at April 2013 and the upcoming ICPD+20 on 2014.

A never ending and challenging process, isn’t it? Are you ready for advocating our sexual and reproductive rights?

Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth

Statement for the

International Youth Day, 12 August 2012

 

Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth

As the global sports community concludes its celebration of world-breaking records in the 2012 London Olympics, another global celebration takes place on Sunday, 12th August, albeit in a more quiet fashion. This day is celebrated as the “International Youth Day” and this year’s theme focuses on “Building A Better World: Partnering with Youth.”

While in the Olympics, the world gets to see the best of the youth’s strongest and fastest, what we don’t usually hear in mainstream media are heart-breaking stories of girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries whose leading cause of death are complications during pregnancy and child birth. They are twice as likely to die in child birth as women in their 20s (UNFPA:2011).This situation occurs because young women may hesitate to visit clinics because of lack of privacy and confidentiality, inconvenient locations and hours, high costs, limited contraceptive choices and supplies, and perhaps most importantly, negative or judgmental provider attitudes. Laws and policies also restrict their access to information and services by limiting family planning to married people or requiring parental or spousal consent. It’s time to treat youth as right holders who need to be accorded with knowledge and information that both protect and empower them in making decisions affecting their lives.

In line with this, IPPF is thrilled to see the themes related to this year’s celebrations include the much needed areas of sexual, reproductive health and rights, namely education, including sexual and reproductive health; political Inclusion; and protection of rights.IPPF has always been a valiant champion for the need to promote, protect and uphold the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all young people, including the right to information and education on sexuality. We strongly believe that comprehensive sexuality education is essential to help young people prepare for healthy and fulfilling lives. High quality information and comprehensive sexuality education can equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to make informed choices now and in the future; to enhance their independence and self-esteem; and to help them experience their sexuality and relationships in a positive and pleasurable way.

We also welcome the efforts for political inclusion of young people as so often young people feel that they lack a voice in a debate which is about them, but rarely involves them, or that the reality of their lives and the development of their sexual identities are not understood. This results in many young people being either unable or reluctant to seek help when they need it, and may prevent them from giving input within policy and decision making processes.

IPPF ESEAOR joins forces with its 26 members association in the region in celebrating the International Youth Day while reinforcing our commitment to work towards a world where every youth is included in discussions relating to their sexual health, well-being and rights. We call on governments to actively engage in dialogues with the youth before making decisions concerning them and to forge meaningful partnerships with youth in actions that involve them. This is what real partnership is all about.

ENDS

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IPPF is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. We are a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals.

IPPF works towards a world where women, men and young people everywhere have control over their own bodies, and therefore their destinies. A world where they are free to choose parenthood or not; free to decide how many children they will have and when; free to pursue healthy sexual lives without fear of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. A world where gender or sexuality are no longer a source of inequality or stigma. We will not retreat from doing everything we can to safeguard these important choices and rights for current and future generations.

For further information please contact Ms. Mangala Namasivayam, Communication and Advocacy Officer, at +603 4256 6122 or mnamasivayam@ippfeseaor.org.

To learn more about IPPF, please go to www.ippf.org and for our work in East & South East Asia and Oceania Region please go to www.ippfeseaor.org