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Astra youth

Training “How to prepare to talk about THAT with children’s” by FPSHA

The training for society (parents, teachers, other specialists) on how to prepare yourself to talk with child about sexual education at home were held on 20-21 of July by FPSHA. During the training participants were introduce with “ASK: Parents as Key Facilitators in sex-education” prepared and translated toolkit, the topics on why/when/how/what to talk and why it is important for children were included. During the practical session participants were instructed on how to defeat their fears, emotions, psychologically prepare themselves to start conversation, how to break down all the “taboo” and refuse all negative and incorrect stereotypes and beliefs.

 

Event gallery here:

https://www.facebook.com/EUASKProject/posts/816535551815545

The project official page here:

https://www.facebook.com/EUASKProject/

LGBT* community The March of equality: "WE ARE PEOPLE, NOT PROPAGANDA!"

On 18th June, 2016 LGBT* community members and their allies participated in the March for Equality on the central avenue in the downtown of Vilnius to celebrate the Baltic Pride 2016, the most important LGBT* (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community event in the Baltic states, organized by the National LGBT* rights organization LGL.

The event began with a moment of silence honoring the victims of the terrorist attack which took place in a LGBT* community space in the United States.

Participants in the march included members of the European Parliament, Lithuanian and international politicians, representatives of international organizations and residents and visitors of the Vilnius city. After the March for Equality participants and friendly spectators were invited to the art factory “Loftas” for the Baltic Pride Park 2016 concert.

The Baltic Pride 2016 festival took place in Vilnius for the third time. This year the festival was used to challenge the discriminatory application of the “anti-gay propaganda”  legislation and to encourage public debate on legal recognition of same-sex relationships in Lithuania. The next Baltic Pride March for Equality will take place in Vilnius in 2019. In 2017Baltic Pride festival will be hosted in the Estonian capital city of Tallinn. 

Source: www.lgl.lt

The video from Baltic Pride 2016 at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8V6atFs0pI&ab_channel=BrolYLT

Sexual and reproductive health of young people in Macedonia

Only 1.6 % of young women aged 15 to 19 claim they use oral contraception, while only 34.8% of young people used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. The rates of teenage pregnancy and abortions in this age group are several times higher than in the EU. It is estimated that in Macedonia there’s an increasing tendency in the number of people infected with sexually transmitted infections among young people, especially chlamydia and HPV. A growing number of young couples faces infertility, often caused by untreated sexually transmitted infections. The situation regarding violence and intolerance among young people is worrying. Access to appropriate information on sexual and reproductive health and sexuality within the existing curricula is insufficient. These are some of the conclusions reached by a working group composed of expert representatives of 23 ministries, health, educational and social institutions and civil society organizations in Macedonia.

Drashko Kostovski, the Program Director at H.E.R.A., claims that the information young people receive is often outdated, irrelevant and often inaccurate. In a recent research only 13% of students said they learned about condoms and barely 2% on oral contraception.

Only 12.8 % of the population uses modern contraception, making Macedonia one of the countries with the lowest use of modern contraception in Europe. Data shows that in 2008, 6.7% of all births were among the women under the age of 19, while the specific fertility rate in the age group 15-19 was 20.1 in 2008. The number of registered live births to mothers aged 15 years is on the rise, as in 2009 it was 33 while in 2008 it was 24.

Source: Nova Makedonija [mkd]

Youth advocates’ involvement at the International AIDS Conference 2016

The International AIDS Conference took place from 18 to 22 July 2016 in Durban, South Africa. It was the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic. The conference provided an opportunity to evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt and collectively chart a course forward.

More than 100 young people from around the world participated in the Pre-Conference event and AIDS Conference and had an opportunity to voice the importance of youth involvement in the HIV prevention movement. Youth advocates developed the AIDS 2016 Youth Outcome Statement, in which they call governments to ensure comprehensive sexuality education in formal and non-formal settings, integrate human rights principles in all laws and policies, as well as to ensure youth involvement in the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The statement can be found here

Source: EECA Youth Voice

Investing in teenage girls is key for Moldova prosperity

The UNFPA Representative in Moldova op.ed. was published in "Ziarul de garda" newspaper in Romanian and Russian on July 28, 2016.

Moldova is one of the youngest countries in Europe. Of its total inhabitants, almost 25 per cent are young people between the ages of 16 and 30. Therefore, the young people, especially young girls, need investments in their education, health and employment opportunities in order to realize their full potential.

The economic and social challenges hit the young population of Moldova hard and as a result, we have increasing emigration, deteriorating the health of youth and increasing risks for harmful behaviours. For many young people, it is difficult to find a job at home. The youth unemployment is three times higher than unemployment among older adults. Young people often resort to unstable work or leave the country in search of better prospects.

Adolescent boys and girls are more often exposed to risky behaviours due to their lack of knowledge on sexual and reproductive health and limited access to youth-friendly services. Young people in Moldova have significantly higher rates of sexually transmitted infections than in other neighbouring countries. Only about one-third of young people, aged 15 to 24, have comprehensive knowledge about HIV. The rate of adolescent pregnancies is still very high in Moldova, reaching 23.2 births per 1,000 teenage girls aged 15-19 years old, compared to 11.0 births per 1,000 teenage girls in the European Union member states.

Although the risks of limited knowledge and information on sexual and reproductive health have been recognized by the Government, and the Law no. 138 on Reproductive Heath adopted in 2012 envisages access of young people to mandatory comprehensive sexuality education in schools, this is not being yet a reality in Moldova.

Parents are not well equipped to either support their children in making informed choices and practice a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, young people in Moldova are often left alone to deal with these challenges. According to some estimates, about 100,000 children in the country have been left behind by migrant parents. 

Behind statistics, there are lives of young people. Every day we hear stories about teenage girls getting pregnant and giving up on their education, young women struggling to make a decision about their motherhood, or women experienced violence. 

To ensure that each adolescent girl and boy has a bright future in Moldova and reaches her or his full potential, thus contributing to the economic and social development of the country, we should focus on and stand up for human rights. Young people, especially the most vulnerable young people, should be assured that their rights to education, health, including sexual and reproductive health, and freedom from violence are fulfilled.

Developing human capital by giving a voice to youth and investing in them, especially in teenage girls, as more vulnerable in this context, is essential for Moldova. Increasing access to quality health services and education on sexual and reproductive health, ensuring youth participation, will help young people to realize their rights and be active citizens of Moldova, but most important – it will contribute to the economic growth of the country. Healthy and educated youth means empowered and healthy adult generation in the future who can propel economic growth and ensure the prosperity of the country. 

I have met very dynamic and talented young people in Moldova, and that makes me believe that there is a lot of potential for prosperity of this country.

Investing in young people is in everyone’s interest. When a teenage girl or boy has the power, the means and the information to make her or his own decisions in life, they are more likely to realize their full potential and become a positive force for change in their family, community and country.

The article is available here.

Source: UNFPA Moldova

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