Youth Declaration on the 6th APCRSHR

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Whereas, young people (10-24) comprise a significant demographic sector of Asia adn Pacific which accounts for half of the world’s young population and some 850 milion in the region, making us an important asset and source of opportunity for national and regional development;

Whereas, the young people engage in early sex of which most are unprotected and the adolescent birth rate is 53.7 for South Asia and 40.4 in South East Asia. Young girls and young women are at more at risk of experiencing pregnancy-related complications, and of engaging in unsafe abortion, thus further increasing maternal mortality;

Whereas, young people are engaged in high risk behaviour that lead to issues on sexual and reproductive health such as early pregnancies, STIs including HIV and AIDS, unsafe abortion, gender-based violance. This high risk behaviour can be attributed to lack of comprehensive sexuality education and access to reliable and unbiased source of information and youth friendly services.

Whereas developing adequate accesible and quality Youth-Friendly Health Care Services is essential in lowering maternal mortality of young women especially aged 20 years and below and promoting every young person’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights as stated in the ICPD;

Whereas, there is an increasing number of STI, HIV, and AIDS cases among young people and young women are infected earlier than young men. Young girls and women are put at greater risks because of the biological factors, poor information and services, women-centric gender-based violance, and lack of economic and social opportunities. The prevalence of high risk behaviours has also driven the epidemic;

Whereas, there are no specific budget allocation for ASRH initiatives in government programs, if there is, its most often lumped with other general health project which almost makes adolescent reproductive health invisible or insignificant;

Whereas, the youth should actively participate in specifying bugdet 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 call on the goverment to accountability in promoting, protecting and uphold 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 SRH issues of the young people.

We urge the government to provide reliable data and address the gaps on young people’s 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.

We urge the government to provide youth friendly 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 the delegates of Youth Day in 6th Asia Pacific Conference of Reproductive and Sexual 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 information and services through our teen centres, youth hubs, one-stop shops and other existing institutional facilities.

We commit to continuously lobby and advocate for policies addresing the sexual and reproductive health needs of 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 level (local, national, regional, and global); to promote the spirit of volunteerism and vigilance; and to consitently advocate for meaningful youth-adult partnership.

Signed in the 19th day of October 2011 at Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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