image Follow Us:

Astra youth

Law on reproductive rights in Kyrgyzstan signed

The Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament passed a reproductive health law in May, followed by President’s signing in July. The signing of the bill was six years in the making. The Law on Reproductive Rights and Guarantees of its Realization of Citizens of Kyrgyz Republic addresses sexual and reproductive rights as part of human rights. It aims to ensure promotion and protection of SRR. The law recognizes the right to equality and freedom from all forms of discrimination. It also includes the introduction of sexuality education to Kyrgyz schools.

Implementation of sexuality education curricula is of upmost importance, taking into consideration that only 21% of schoolchildren obtain information on sexual and reproductive health from teachers and only 15% from their parents, as monitoring exercise has proven.

The establishment of the law faced heated discussions and objections during the process. The opponents referred to ‘traditional’ and ‘Islamic norms’ while objecting the bill and appealing for its withdrawal. Thanks to growing support of Kyrgyz parliamentarians the law was successfully approved with 96 votes in favour, and only 9 opposing.

Source: UNFPA, AFPPD

 

Agreed Post 2015 document is now available!

The finalised and agreed Post 2015 outcome document on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda is now available online on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

The Post-2015 Process comes to an end

The final intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda took place in New York July 20-31, 2015 culminating in the adoption of Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by 193 Member States on Sunday evening, August 2 after long and arduous negotiations. Representatives of regional SRHR networks from around the world, together with UNFPA, advocated tirelessly at these negotiations to ensure that the post-2015 agenda guarantees human rights, particularly the SRHR of all people everywhere; brings gender equality to the forefront; recognizes young people’s role as key agents of change; and includes the active participation of civil society in shaping global development, both at country and global levels. 

The informal consultations were led by Member States with the broad and active participation of Major Groups and civil society stakeholders, such as ASTRA and partners within the SRHR Campaign launched together with UNFPA, the Youth Leadership Working Group (with ASTRA Youth as its member) and the Civil Society Platform to Promote SRHR Beyond 2015 (ASTRA is member of its Coordinator Committee). The impact of civil society advocacy was recognized by the co-facilitators and several Member States, and Amina Mohammed, the Secretary-General’s special advisor on post-2015, thanked civil society for their engagement and particularly recognized CSOs’ technical inputs, indicating a clear mandate for our continued engagement in the process. Statements made by Major Groups and other Stakeholders, including by SRHR Campaign members can be found here here.

The outcome document from this informal process will serve as the basis for the agreement to be formally adopted at the United Nations Summit to adopt the post-2015 development agenda in September 25-27.

 

Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations Outcome Document

The final outcome document [not yet available - most recent version, dated Aug 1 here) comprises the following sections:

The Preamble

The Declaration

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets

Means of implementation and the Global Partnership

Follow up and review

The Preamble

Recognizes that the goals and targets “seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

The Declaration

Overall, gender equality and women’s rights were mainstreamed throughout the document, and included in sections regarding health, education, and inequalities within and between countries. Accordingly, the Declaration (§20) states, “The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda is crucial.” The standalone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (Goal 5) is an important win.

Paragraph 11 in the Declaration includes language reaffirming ICPD and Beijing, though in the end the reference to “and their review conferences” was deleted by the co-facilitators however there is a reference to their follow-up conferences, and it is still an important reaffirmation of the ICPD agenda.

Paragraph 16 in referring to the off-track MDGs, includes reproductive health in the list, together with maternal, newborn and child health.

Para 19 of the political declaration and preamble clearly state that this was a framework grounded in commitments to human rights for all people, without distinction of any kind as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, disability or other status.” Although we advocated for open lists, rather than arbitrary listings of some groups that leave out others, the inclusion of “other status” in this paragraph is an advocacy win in ensuring non-discrimination for all people. The “other status” language was particularly supported by networks advocating on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Paragraph 25  includes language on the “demographic dividend” and a few Member States focused on youth rights and employment; however, the language on young people could have been stronger, particularly in regards to their participation in the implementation and follow-up and review of the SDGs.  Youth are left out of the goals and targets so it was important to build on these commitments in the text.

Paragraph 26 on health includes a commitment to reduce preventable maternal mortality by 2030 and to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, family planning, information and education. Although the Declaration does not mention reproductive rights, they were retained in target 5.6.

A paragraph on family, highlighting its role as contributor to sustainable development, raised concerns among Member States and many advocates. The SRHR Campaign urged Member States to call for deletion of this paragraph and presented a statement to the co-facilitators with the same request (available here).  Our advocacy and support from Member State champions resulted in the deletion of this paragraph.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Targets

Our important advocacy during the Open Working Group to ensure the inclusion of targets on both ensuring universal access to  sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes under Goal 3 on ensuring health lives (target 3.7) and on ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform of Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences under Goal 5 (target 5.6) in the SDG proposal paid off. The co-facilitators were not willing to accept major changes to the existing targets, and we successfully continued to advocate to defend inclusion of both targets.

Means of Implementation and Follow-up and Review

The Means of Implementation section mentions the participation of civil society two times (§60 on Global Partnership and §70 on Task Team on Science, Tech and Information); youth are not mentioned, despite our advocacy to ensure their inclusion in implementation of the SDGs. Also, in the Follow-up and Review section, civil society is mentioned in §79 re: national and sub-national reviews and in §84 re: the role of the HLPF, however this language could have been stronger. The participation of youth in the follow-up and review of the SDGs is not mentioned. Unfortunately, the outcome document doesn’t define specific accountability mechanisms for follow-up and monitoring of progress on this ambitious agenda. This will be an important area for further advocacy at the country level.

The sections of the Agenda that most directly concern us (and which we fought to keep) include the following:

Preamble, §3

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which we are announcing today demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. They seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what these did not achieve. They seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.They are integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental.

Declaration

11. We reaffirm the outcomes of all major UN conferences and summits which have laid a solid foundation for sustainable development and have helped to shape the new Agenda. These include the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; the World Summit on Sustainable Development; the World Summit for Social Development; the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Platform for Action; and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+ 20”). We also reaffirm the follow up to these conferences, including the outcomes of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States; the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries; and the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.

16   Almost fifteen years ago, the Millennium Development Goals were agreed. These provided an important framework for development and significant progress has been made in a number of areas. But the progress has been uneven, particularly in Africa, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, and small island developing States, and some of the MDGs remain off-track, in particular those related to maternal, newborn and child health and to reproductive health. We recommit ourselves to the full realization of all the MDGs, including the off-track MDGs, in particular by providing focussed and scaled-up assistance to least developed countries and other countries in special situations, in line with relevant support programmes. The new Agenda builds on the Millennium Development Goals and seeks to complete what these did not achieve, particularly in reaching the most vulnerable.

20.  Realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution to progress across all the Goals and targets. The achievement of full human potential and of sustainable development is not possible if one half of humanity continues to be denied its full human rights and opportunities. Women and girls must enjoy equal access to quality education, economic resources and political participation as well as equal opportunities with men and boys for employment, leadership and decision making at all levels. We will work for a significant increase in investments to close the gender gap and strengthen support for institutions in relation to gender equality and the empowerment of women at the global, regional and national levels. All forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls will be eliminated, including through the engagement of men and boys. The systematic mainstreaming of a gender perspective in the implementation of the Agenda is crucial.

26. To promote physical and mental health and well-being, and to extend life expectancy for all, we must achieve universal health coverage and access to quality health care. No one must be left behind. We commit to accelerating the progress made to date in reducing newborn, child and maternal mortality by ending all such preventable deaths before 2030. We are committed to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education. We will equally accelerate the pace of progress made in fighting malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, Ebola and other communicable diseases and epidemics, including by addressing growing antimicrobial resistance and the problem of unattended diseases affecting developing countries. We are committed to the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases, including behavioural, developmental and neurological disorders, which constitute a major challenge for sustainable development.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births

3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes

Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

5.1 End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

5.2 Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

Follow-up and Review

74. Follow-up and review processes at all levels will be guided by the following principles:

[...]

e. They will be people-centred, gender-sensitive, respect human rights and have a particular focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and those furthest behind.

[...]

g. They will be rigorous and based on evidence, informed by country-led evaluations and data which is high-quality, accessible, timely, reliable and disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migration status, disability and geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.

Source: ASTRA Network

Georgian youth activists involve in Global Dialogues contest

Youth activists from Georgian organization Real People, Real Vision (ASTRA Youth member) have engaged in the global contest Global Dialogues. The contest aims to gather youth stories on HIV/AIDS, sexuality, violence against girls and women, drugs, alcohol and sex through submission of short videos.  The contest serves as an opportunity to break the ice on taboo subjects and enable young people on issues important to them.

Real People, Real Vision ensured engagement of young people living with HIV (PLHIV), drug users and LGBTQ youth and managed to gather 153 stories from this group, out of which six got to the gloval level and one was chosen among the thirty best submissions. Moreover, Georgia had its representative in the Global Jury of the contest. As a follow-up action, Real People Real Vision is planning to organize a youth outdoor exhibition on the International Youth Day. 

Statement on Adolescents and Youth in Post 2015

Statement on Adolescents and Youth in Post 2015

Presented by: Tania Martinez, Espolea, Mexico

Dear co-facilitators, member states, colleagues:

As many of you know, children, adolescents and young people across the world, of all identities, ethnicities and cultures have mobilized throughout this process to ensure our rights and priorities are at the center of the post 2015 agenda. We have sought, alongside many people and governments in this room, the creation of a transformative agenda that recognizes us as the generation that will carry this agenda forward. We appreciate your partnership efforts.

Keeping the delicate political balance in mind, the endeavor of technical proofing is indeed brave. We support this undertaking if it increases the ambition of the agenda.

On a positive note, we welcome the revision to target 1.5 and the inclusion of humanitarian emergencies, which many children, adolescents and young people are adversely affected by, and which needs to be addressed.

Despite this, many of our core concerns continue to be ignored.

1. Young people, especially indigenous young people, depend on their lands, forests and ecosystems, which for many of them is their home, livelihood, source of food and medicine, and holds important cultural, spiritual and community significance. We do not support the change to target 15.1 and 15.2 that call for an additional ten year time frame during which time even more forests will be destroyed. Moreover, the targets under Goal 15 must include substantially increased reforestation and ecosystem restoration and a clear and immediate commitment to implement these actions.

2. Control over our bodies and access to accurate information is critical to ensure all children, adolescents and youth can make fully informed decisions, stay healthy, and achieve our rights. Although Goal 4 on education has increased in its level of ambition, we are disappointed about the continued omission and controversial perception of comprehensive sexuality education, informal and nonformal education, and indigenous knowledge.

Furthermore, we must ensure that the implementation of this agenda happens across its full fifteen year lifespan. We look forward to continue working with you in the implementation of this agenda.

To conclude, in the words of Dr Seuss: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It simply is not.”

Collaborators:International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP),World Assembly of Youth,UN MGCY,SOS Children’s Villages,Muslims for Progressive Values,LGBTIQ Constituency AP-RCEM,International Planned Parenthood Federation,Russian Fair Trade Organization,Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights,ASTRA Youth,Advocates for Youth,Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues,YouAct,Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR),WOMEN ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMME,Espolea A.C.,ACT!2015,Caribbean Leadership Network on Population and Development.

The statement is acessible here.

Page 1 of 48