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Asia-Pacific: Youth SRHR Activists Demand for ‘Full Recognition and Protection of Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Services’ Guaranteed under International Instruments
Young sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) activists from Asia-Pacific released a statement demanding that governments fulfill the commitments made under international documents and instruments including (but not limited to) the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA), and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. The Millennium Document and the subsequent Millennium Development Goals also make strong commitments to SRHR and HIV/AIDS that are imperative to strong progress on achieving the goals by 2015.
The region accounts for approximately 850 million young people, who face multi-layered problems that are deeply impacted by cultural and traditional norms; further endangering their health and well-being. With worrying HIV prevalence rates, lack of access to quality health/life-saving services and information, and immense legal; cultural and political barriers to health, young people- young women and girls in particular-are denied essential information, services, and access that would allow them to lead safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
Urging signatories to live up to their promises, the Statement demands for mainstreaming of gender perspectives and impacts; calls for a youth-centered budget in national health system financing; and pushes for access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education; and Youth Friendly Services- including pre & post safe abortion care. Activists also called for quality, scientific, disaggregated data on young peoples’ sexual and reproductive health and rights; to enable active engagement of communities for evidence-based advocacy and policy making. Underscoring the commitments made, advocates demanded full support for young peoples’ meaningful participation, leadership and involvement at all levels of decision-making.
The Statement, an outcome of a two-day meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand (convened by WGNRR, ARROW, & IPPF SARYN with support from UNFPA-APRO and UNESCO Bangkok), captures the urgent concerns of young people in the Asia-Pacific region and targets the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development, which will be held April 23-27 in New York.
The Statement is available for download in English. Please share and disseminate widely.