YSNAP were conducting workshop with youth volunteers in Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand! The workshop were on 10th – 11th November 2012. So much fun yet seriously strategizing our plan to move forward as a strong youth network 🙂
This short thought-provoking film imagines a world without sexual rights and the devastating impact that would have on the lives of young people.
‘Dead End Kids’, a campaigning film for The International Planned Parenthood Federation, has won an IVCA (International Video and Communication) Clarion Award in the Charity and Social Enterprise category, beating stiff competition from major campaigning organisations.
Shot in one day in east London with a diverse cast of nine young people, the film covers a range of topical issues including: access to sexual and reproductive health services for young people, rape, gender-based violence, stigma and HIV, living with a disability and sex trafficking.
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?
Y-SNAP in Malaysia recently got a chance to conduct capacity building in national level. 19 young people from all around Malaysia came and learn about SRHR for five days!
a lot of things discussed and all of them were agreed that youth participation is a must to ensure that the access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Youth Friendly services are widely available.
Last week, on 11 July 2012 the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in collaboration with UNFPA and IPPF has conducted the Family Planning summit in London. This event is one of the milestones to bring the world’s attention toward family planning agenda worldwide. At the end of the summit, governments, private foundations, NGOs, and medical companies will be mobilized to support the commitment made from this summit. Global policy, financing, commodity, and service delivery will support commitment to fulfill the rights of an additional 120 million women and girls in the world’s poorest countries to use contraceptive information, services and supplies, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020.
It is clear that once a country has a family planning program that is rights-based, it can help prevent more young girls from having unplanned pregnancies and also from dying in childbirth. These features contributed in reducing the number of Maternal Mortality Rate and provide a greater chance for young women to continue education.
However, few gaps in providing family planning services for young people should be addressed. One thing for sure, when it comes to the term “family planning” it would be hard for young people, particularly unmarried young people to access family planning services. The access of family planning might be widely available, but this has to be inclusive with the principle of youth friendly services.
Aside from providing contraceptives, family planning services should include access to safe abortion where it is legal. Integrating access to safe abortion would save millions of women’s life. As in 2008, there was an estimation of 10.8 million unsafe abortions in Asia (Advocates for youth, 2011).
When a government wants to integrate family planning access into their health system, it must emphasize on voluntary family planning. Experiences from Indonesia a few decades ago on forced family planning and one child policy in China should be a lesson learned on how family planning being misused by the government as a means to violate reproductive rights in the name of controlling the population size.
Above it all, family planning program must respect the sexual and reproductive rights of young people especially young women. Family planning should be promoted as voluntary and accessible to young women regardless of their marriage status. In the end, all young women must be able to make informed decision and empowered to decide whether or not, how and when, to have children.
On the last 22nd – 23rd May 2012, Y-SNAP was organizing Capacity Building on Sexual Rights and Youth Mobilization along with Youth peer educator in RHAC – Reproductive Health Association Cambodia. 15 peer educators from Phnom Penh were attending this workshop.
A lot of topics on Sexual rights such as access to safe abortion, same-sex marriages, forced marriages, comprehensive sexuality education, and HIV and AIDS were discussed and participants were divided into groups and they should defend their arguments. Topics on advocacy in regional and international level were also discussed and we were mapping advocacy venue that can be used for strengthening young people’s voices.
At the end of this workshop, we were decided to form RHAC Youth Network. This youth network are intended to facilitate youth peer educator in RHAC to share their works, experience, and more importantly to advocate for young people’s access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Youth Friendly Services in Cambodia.