6th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
19 October 2011
WHEREAS, young people (10-24) comprise a significant demographic sector of Asia and Pacific which accounts for half of the world's young population and some 850 million in the region, making us an important asset and source of opportunity for national and regional development;
WHEREAS, a large number of young people are engaged in high risk sexual behaviour of which most are unprotected, leading to issues on sexual and reproductive health such as early and unintended pregnancies, STIs [Sexually Transmitted Infections] including HIV [Human Immunodeficiency Virus] and AIDS [Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome], unsafe abortion, gender-based violence; the adolescent birth rate is 53.7 for South Asia and 40.4 in South East Asiai. Young girls and young women are more at risk of experiencing pregnancy-related complications and may resort to unsafe abortion, thus further increasing maternal mortality. This can be attributed to lack of comprehensive sexuality education, access to reliable and unbiased sources of information and youth friendly services.
WHEREAS, developing adequate, accessible, affordable and quality Youth-Friendly Health Care Services which includes easy access to information and supply of contraceptives, maternal health services, confidential counseling - regardless of civil status to promote every young person's Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
WHEREAS, there is an increasing number of new STI, HIV and AIDS cases among young people. Providing access to treatment, care and support among Young People Living with HIV as well as their involvement in interventions to specific key population such as harm reduction strategies is important to halt and reverse the spread of infection;
WHEREAS, harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation and early marriages are still being practiced in some parts of the region- due to which, young people lack the knowledge and power to make informed decisions regarding their own sexual and reproductive health.
WHEREAS, policies that are discriminating to gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation have led to sexual harassments, violence including hate crimes, and bullying which are violation of human rights of individuals;
WHEREAS, the youth should actively participate in specifying budget items for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health to ensure efficient and effective utilization of limited funds and resources to achieve progressive development of maternal, child and adolescent health;
WHEREAS, there are limited venues for youth to contribute solutions and to create meaningful youth-adult partnership in all aspects of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluating programs and policies that directly affect our lives;
NOW THEREFORE, We, the youth representing different sectors of young population in Asia and Pacific, call on the government to take accountability in promoting, protecting and upholding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people. And we call on the civil society, development partners, and our fellow young people to work collectively in addressing SRHR [Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights] issues of the young people.
We urge the government to provide reliable data and address the gaps on young peoples' situation particularly on Sexual Reproductive Health leading to policy directions and budget allocation.
We urge the government to provide venue for genuine participation of the young people in the policy making, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
We strongly urge the government to implement comprehensive sexuality education in the curriculum and in non-formal and alternative means of education.
We urge the government to provide comprehensive youth friendly health care services that are cost effective, gender sensitive and rights based.
We urge the government to ensure that service providers are adequately trained in providing youth-friendly services.
We urge the government to abolish policies which are discriminating to gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation.
We the delegates of the Youth Day in 6th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights commit to:
We commit to complement the efforts of the government, civil society and development partners in promoting comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services through our peer education programs targeted to our fellow young especially the key populations
We commit to strengthen programs provided by our organizations especially in the provision of ASRH [Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health] information and services through our teen centres, youth hubs, one- stop shops and other existing institutional facilities and in the absence thereof, through outreach programs.
We commit to continuously lobby and advocate for policies addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of the youth by building their capacities in policy advocacy; and respect, protect and uphold the sexual and reproductive health rights of young people.
We commit to actively engage ourselves in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of youth programs in all levels (local, national, regional and global); to promote the spirit of volunteerism and vigilance; and to consistently advocate for meaningful youth-adult partnership.
Signed in the 19th day of October 2011 at Jogjakarta, Indonesia.
i. Investing in maternal, Newborn and Child Health