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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...

Restrictions in the law on abortion in Armenia

Just this month the Armenian Government introduced several changes in the law on abortion without any consultations with civil society and other medical or women’s groups. Abortion remains accessible until the 12th week yet a separate provision is added to the Article 10 of the Law on Reproductive Health and Rights, which bans sex-selective abortion from 12th to 22nd week of pregnancy. A mandatory 3 day waiting period had been added in the same Article. During this time a gynecologists will provide the woman with information on abortion.

The approach of the Armenian Ministry of Health is quite worrying as one of its representatives confidently stated that the Ministry aims to prevent women from performng abortions with the use of this new 3 day waiting period.  At the same time the Ministry claims that these new legal changes will not question the right and access to legal abortion.

The Women’s Resource Center published a statement on the issue, it is available here.

Changes in the law accepted on 29.06.2016, in Armenian, can be found under this link.

Source: Women’s Rights CenterWomen’s Resource CenterSociety Without Violence

Statement from UN rights experts on International Safe Abortion Day

Speaking ahead of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, a group of United Nations human rights experts* called on States across the world to repeal restrictive abortion laws and policies, and all punitive measures and discriminatory barriers to access safe reproductive health services.

The experts also expressed their support for the call of several non-governmental organisations to make 28 September an official UN day for safe abortion worldwide, to urge Governments to decriminalise abortion and provide reproductive health services in a legal, safe and affordable manner.

See more HERE

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