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.
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 email@example.com.
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