image image Follow Us:

Astra youth

Joint statement on the planned restrictions on the availability of emergency contraception in Poland

ASTRA together with ASTRA Youth, as part of coalition of civil society organizations working on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights – You Act, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality and the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception, sent a letter to the representatives of the European Commission, to voice our concern on the current developments in Poland with regards to women and girls’ reproductive health and rights.

The Polish Minister of Health recently announced the plan to restrict access to emergency contraception which became freely available in pharmacies as a result of the C(2015)51 ruling from the European Commission last year. This step greatly contributed to the advancement of women’s and girls’ reproductive health and rights in Poland and across the European Union. The planned restrictions would greatly impede the lives of women and girls and contribute to the sales of this product from unsafe sources and also cause a rise in the number of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

ASTRA Network, ASTRA Youth, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, European Consortium on Emergency Contraception and YouAct call on the European Commission to encourage the EU Member States to follow the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency in regards to emergency contraception  in order to secure women's and girls’ reproductive rights and improve access to reproductive health services and supplies.

The joint statement is available HERE.

 

“Turn me on” - Hungarian sexuality education project

The main objective of the project run by PATENT from Budapest, Hungary, is to reach out to Hungarian youth, educate them in SRHR and Gender and Sexuaityl Equality and mobilize them in awareness-raising and activism in these areas. The long-term goal of the project is to establish a sustainable and comprehensive social network and a popular platform for discussing gender and sexuality, which can become the cradle and the motor of a young SRHR movement in Hungary, and through which the movement will be able to organize and coordinate itself.

Participants will be trained and encouraged to take action in response to the strengthening anti-SRHR and anti-SE campaigns by international and local conservative religious and right-wing movements. After the training, recruited young volunteers will launch and run a blog and connected social media forums, targeting the wider age group of 13-19. Through online engagement, they will conduct an innovative form of peer education.

The project aims to counteract the general context of backlash against ideas of gender equality and LGB rights, policies aiming for gender and sexual equality never gained sufficient traction in Hungarian politics, and in the past years there are increasingly clear messages from the political arena for maintaining traditional gender norms and roles and traditional, religious Christian conceptions of the family. This agenda is also manifest in general policy-making directions, from educational policy (such as introducing the so-called “Family Life Education” into the curriculum) to national cultural and media initiatives (such as introducing the National Marriage Week) and family, social and labour policies incentivising traditional family models and refusing to implement gender-mainstreaming.

Young People’s Sexual and Reproductive Health: Towards Improved Standards for Sexual Education in Europe

Thursday 12th January 2017, 10:00am — 4:30pm
Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

Key Speakers: Ana Rizescu, You Act & Rachel Andras, INDERA

According to the European Commission, sexual health can be related to a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality and is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. As a sensitive area, it involves multiple levels of educational, ethical, medical, social and cultural customs, which vary considerably across Europe.

Established in 2011, the European Regional World Health Organization's strategy on sexual and reproductive health achieved progress in health national policies, particularly in the development of preventive measures for unsafe abortions and with the introduction of sexual and reproductive health in the national agendas. However, several challenges still remain to be tackled: a recent report on adolescent health and well-being, from the Lancet Commission Group (May 2016), revealed that sexual health and sexually transmitted infections remain a significant public health problem in Europe, with two-thirds of young people growing up in countries where preventable and treatable health problems like unsafe sex, STIs, unwanted pregnancies, injury, violence and depression are an ongoing threat to their development and well-being.

The ongoing regional consultation on the development of the European action plan for sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) 2017-2021 stresses the importance of investing in a comprehensive and appropriate sexuality education for children available to all age groups. It also stresses the need of including children and adolescents as well as their parents, through an inclusive European policy strategy that embraces the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), especially for the vulnerable groups such as LGTB and refugees. The action plan also highlighted the key role of health professionals in achieving an inclusive, high quality sexual health prevention system.

This timely symposium provides an opportunity to discuss different strategies aimed at improving young people’s access to information, contraception and advice services. This symposium will also examine the importance of addressing the challenges related to young adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health through a multilevel approach that encompasses developing youth-friendly health services, parental capability, health-promoting schools as well as empowering young people to participate in the decisions that affect their lives. 

More information and programme HERE.

Youth in Power: Developing a Youth Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Europe and Central Asia

New youth-led initiative “Youth in Power: Developing a Youth Strategy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Europe and Central Asia” is led by YouAct, in partnership with ASTRA Youth, Y-PEER and YSAFE, with support of Council of Europe European Youth Foundation, UNFPA EECARO and IPPF EN.

The initiative’s overall aim is to develop an up-to-date strategy based on the input, experience, needs and ideas of young people, which will serve as an advocacy and awareness raising tool on SRHR of young people from Council of Europe and Central Asia countries on the national, regional and international level.

As a first step the organizations are gathering inputs via an online survey that collects youth views on the current gaps and challenges regarding the realization of SRHR and their feedback on recommendations, measures and actions that need to be taken by youth-led networks and policy and decision-makers.

The survey is open to young people aged 15-30 years old from Council of Europe and Central Asia countries and is available HERE.

European youth advocates urge MEPs to do more to combat anti-Abortion legislation throughout Europe

Brussels, 11th October 2016 // European Youth advocates welcome the decision by the Polish parliament last week to dismiss the “Stop Abortion” bill , but stress that the European Parliament needs to do more to monitor legislative developments and increasing restrictions to sexual and reproductive rights and services across Europe.

Read more...

Page 1 of 68