The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) has kicked off on a high note in Indonesia with strong calls from young people to have more control over their sexual and reproductive health.
ICFP youth pre-conference which held from 24-25 January, had in attendance more than 250 young people from around the world who met to shed more light on the challenges they are facing in dealing with sexual and reproductive health and rights issues and solutions to addressing them as well as tackling opportunities and challenges specific to youth and family planning, before attending the main conference scheduled to hold between 25-28 January.
Lack of sexuality and life-skills education were identified as cross-cutting problems faced by youths in all countries around the world.
Participants noted that the lack of comprehensive sex education has negatively affected sexual and reproductive health among young people. This includes unsatisfactory results in reducing teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and maternal mortality among adolescents.
Stigma and stereotyping were also identified as major challenges and Jamila Gacheri from Kenya noted that young people have limited access to youth-friendly health services.
Young people have pledged to work together with key stakeholders in achieving the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. The message they want policy makers to hear loud and clear is that to achieve the new global goals over the next 15 years, a tailored and targeted approach is needed that must not leave anyone behind, especially young and marginalised people, in preventing unintended pregnancies, reducing maternal mortality, and ending AIDS.
African Youths Hold Family Planning Conference26/01/2016