Must read! New UNESCO report “Young People Today. Time to Act Now”

October 9, 2013

A major new report entitled “Young People Today. Time to Act Now”, developed by UNESCO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO and other partners is launched on in October 2013.

The report presents key data and analysis that answer the question ‘why adolescents and young people need comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services in Eastern and Southern Africa’. It covers the health and social status of adolescents and young people in the region including access to education, HIV knowledge, HIV and unintended pregnancy prevalence, and key gender and human rights indicators. The report also presents an analysis of the responses under three thematic headings: sexuality education; sexual and reproductive health services; and gender, rights and contextual issues.

The launch of the report also marks the launch of a campaign that touches on all of our work – a campaign to urge ministers of health and education in Eastern and Southern Africa to show bold leadership and sign up to a commitment to scale-up the delivery of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for the 158 million adolescents and young people in this region.

Ten key recommendations offer guidance on how to move forward

  1. Bold leadership and bold actions are needed
  2. Recognize the changing realities in the lives of adolescents and young People
  3. Scale up comprehensive sexuality education
  4. Take action early through education
  5. Maximise the protective effect of education through EFA
  6. Integrate and scale up youth friendly HIV and SRH services
  7. Eliminate barriers to access for all young people
  8. Make an AIDS free future a reality
  9. Strengthen gender and rights within education and services
  10. Work together around a common agenda for adolescents and young people

We are very happy to see such strong commitment for quality sexuality education and access to services for youth. In our work together with you, we see how difficult it can be to really make the difference in the lives of youth. The rich data presented in the report can give guidance for progamme development.

Like the UN organisations, the focus of STOP AIDS NOW! and partners is even so on quality of sexuality education and HIV prevention programmes for youth as well as increased access to youth friendly services for all young people. Read more about our work:

 “Knowledge of young people on HIV is very low in the ESA region. This suggest urgent need to improve the quality of HIV prevention and sexuality education. Currently, there are gaps found in 70% of the topics of the curricula! Am very excited to see that there is increased commitment to make a change. Through our programmes, such as ASK, Link-up and Quality of SRHR/HIV prevention initiatives, we support organisations to make this difference.” Miriam Groenhof, Senior Advisor Prevention STOP AIDS NOW!

Did you know that ….

  • There are gaps found in 70% of the topics of the curricula on sexuality education? 
  • Condom use by sexually active young women in Zimbabwe is 40%?
  • Parental support for teaching adolescents about condom use is very high?
  • In Zambia of all health facilities only 15% are youth friendly?

Read more in the full report