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 participation – to 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?