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Youth organizations’ joint article on youth SRHR in Entre Nous

The 83rd issue of the European Magazine for Sexual and Reproductive Health ENTRE NOUS "Sexual and reproductive health: are you satisfied?" has been published. It includes the joint article developed by ASTRA Youth, YSAFE, YouAct and Y-PEER, called “Youth matters! Why invest in young people’s and adolescents’ Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights?”

The article discusses various youth SRHR issues such as violence against women and girls, access to SRH services and supplies, access to abortion services for young women and information and education about SRHR, as well as highlights why youth rights must be prioritized.

The Entre Nous issue with the article is accessible here.

Source: WHO Europe

Croatian project on sexuality education for adolescents

Center for Education, Counseling and Research – CESI will continue carrying out the project ‘Good advice is worth gold’ with the support of the City of Zagreb, to provide sexuality education to adolescents in Croatia in 2016.

Adolescents involved in the project will receive comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health through online counselling at, educational materials distributed in middle schools in Zagreb as well as workshops on sexuality and responsible and safe sexual behaviour held by project team in high schools.  CESI aims to respond with this project to needs of adolescents, who don’t receive comprehensive information on their sexuality. Parents remain reluctant to discuss sexuality and school also doesn’t ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education. Informing young people on their sexual and reproductive health is particularly crucial in Croatia in the light of negative epidemiological trends and spread of STIs such as chlamydia and HPV.

Apart from the project, CESI is involved in continuous advocacy for sexuality education in schools and provision of comprehensive information on sexual and reproductive health to adolescents. The organization would like to open the special counselling clinic in Zagreb, where adolescents could receive all necessary information related to youth sexuality.


Strategizing meeting on youth SRHR issues

The Asian-Pacific Resource& Research Centre for Women (ARROW) has conducted a 2-day strategizing meeting with some ARROW partners, friends and allies ‘Working with Youth: Understanding the Ways Forward’ to discuss needs of young people, challenges and realities as well as to strategize ways of work to overcome them. ASTRA Youth coordinator was the only participant representing Central and Eastern Europe, contributing to the meeting with expertise on youth SRHR issues and challenges in the region.

During the meeting, representatives of youth civil society discussed definitions of youth and what should be the bases for these definitions. They enumerated issues which impact youth most: migration; religious issues; intersecting aspects of identities such as ability, race, ethnicity, class; discrimination and culture. It was also discussed what strategies are used by youth to overcome challenges they face. The understanding of activism was also debated along with considering activist identity. Meeting participants also worked on specific strategies to carry youth activism forward, focusing on youth-led accountability and provision of data. The meeting was recorded graphically to capture crucial conclusions from the discussions and these graphics are available here.

Source: ARROW

Lithuanian girls will get a free vaccination from human papilloma virus

From 2016, girls in Lithuania will have an opportunity to get a free vaccine for human papilloma virus that can cause cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is diagnosed for two women per day in Lithuania, and half of diagnosed women die. It is established that vaccination can reduce morbidity by 70%, so WHO recommends it as an effective solution that has to be free on the national level. So far, there are 26 countries in Europe that ensure these vaccinations for girls without any charge.

Source: FPSHA


Launch of the study on young people’s situation in Moldova

The Center for Demographic Research and UNFPA has released its third Barometer “The Situation of Young People in the Republic of Moldova: from Desiderata to Opportunities” and launched it officially during the Final Conference of the Academy of Young Workers, organized by the National Youth Council of Moldova.

The Barometer examines the situation of young people in the field of education, health and labour market. As it evidences, young people face social exclusion in education and employment, as 29% of young people are not enrolled in any form of training or professional development and are unemployed. At the same time, many young Moldovans study or seek a job abroad.

As regards youth health, the study evidences that the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections remains high, as 6 out of 10 people infected with STI are young people aged 15-29. In 2013, about 14% of new HIV cases were registered among people aged 15-24. This data testifies to lower percentage of young people holding comprehensive knowledge on HIV/AIDS transmission, as this rate dropped from 40.5% in 2005 to about 32% in 2013.

The participants of the conference discussed the outcomes of the Barometer, focusing on recommendations aiming to improve the quality of young people’s lives. The proposed solutions were related to enhancement of healthcare quality, including sexual and reproductive health; development of family life education and psychological support services.

Source: UNFPA Moldova,

Season's Greetings from ASTRA Youth Secretariat

Happy Holidays from ASTRA Youth Secretariat!

Thanks to our members, partners and allies for amazing work this year to enhance youth SRHR and all the best for 2016!

Protest to encourage politicians to solve the problem of sexuality education in Lithuania

Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights and young activists lead the protest near the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science office. With this protest, the activists wanted to encourage politicians to solve the problem of sexuality education in Lithuania. They highlighted that HIV spreads rapidly among youth and teen girls get pregnant two times more often than girls in the Western Europe countries. The protest participants held the banners with messages: ‘Ignorance doesn’t protect from diseases’,   ‘I want to know about contraception’, ‘I want planned parenthood’.

As the data of the Statistical Department shows, there were 13,3 labours for 1000 teenagers in Lithuania. It also evidences that teenagers start their sexual lives at the average of 16-17 years old, but one out of five doesn’t use any contraception at all.

The photos from the protest are accessible here.

Source: FPSHA

UN adopts the resolution on youth, peace and security

United Nations Security Council has adopted unanimously the ground-breaking resolution on youth, peace and security in early December.

The resolution builds on five blocks: participation, protection, prevention, partnerships and disengagement and reintegration. It recognizes youth as important group able to contribute positively to prevention and resolution of conflicts as well as influencing maintenance and promotion of peace and security. The Council urges Member States to increase youth participation in decision-making processes at all levels and consider ways to develop mechanisms for prevention and conflict resolution. Facilitation of inclusive and enabling environment in which youth actors, local communities and non-governmental agents can be engaged to develop strategies to counteract violent extremist narrative is also addressed in the document. Member States are also urged to increase their political, financial, technical and logistical support which pays attention to young people’s needs and participation in peace efforts, conflict and post-conflict realities.

The resolution is accessible at UN website.

Source: UN

ASTRA Youth photo event for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence


To mark ‪#‎16DaysofActivism‬ campaign, ASTRA Youth organized a social media photo event 'I have the right to...' to bring attention to SRHR of young people in the region.

ASTRA Youth members published their photos with messages calling for recognition of young people's right to CSE, access to SRH services, contraception and safe abortion. They also paid attention to the fact that limiting or banning the access to SRH services is a form of institutional violence.

On the occasion of Human Rights Day we want to remind: Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights!

All the photos can be viewed at ASTRA Youth Facebook page.

From MDGs to SDGs, WHO launches new report

WHO launched a new comprehensive analysis of global health trends since 2000 and an assessment of the challenges for the next 15 years.

"Health in 2015: from MDGs to SDGs" identifies the key drivers of progress in health under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It lays out actions that countries and the international community should prioritize to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which come into effect on 1 January 2016.

The 17 SDGs are broader and more ambitious than the MDGs, presenting an agenda that is relevant to all people in all countries to ensure that "no one is left behind." The new agenda requires that all 3 dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – are addressed in an integrated manner.

Access the report here:

"Health in 2015: from MDGs to SDGs"

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