2014 Partners' Forum
30 JUNE - 1 JULY | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa
Session 4B: Investing in Adolescent and Youth as Agents of Change
Participants of the 2014 PMNCH Partners’ Forum parallel session 4B on” Investing in Adolescent and Youth as Agents of Change” were introduced to various examples of youth led programmes and their impact on health policy and outcomes. The session highlighted the need to invest in adolescent girls by ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, by strengthening their education, ensuring their safety, promoting their representation and increasing the economic and employment opportunities.
Youth panellists sharing their experience, highlighted the success of peer education programmes aimed at improving Sexual Reproduction Health and Rights outcomes. They pointed to the ability of youth organizations to understand youth health service needs and to their ability to communicate to youth in a way that they can understand the messages. They shared their experiences of successful advocacy to African Union Heads of States for the uptake of youth priorities in the Common African Position, pointing to important and under discussed issues in the region including the need for services for adolescents who have fallen pregnant and wish to keep their children.
Youth panellists also noted the relevance of youth voices in the Post 2015 dialogue as they felt strongly that the development framework in 15 years will be relevant for the youth of today. They highlighted the need for a more inclusive process with a view to yielding a human rights based framework that captures youth priorities across all sectors including health, education, employment, and gender among others. The need to treat youth as a heterogeneous group with a focus on the most vulnerable populations was also stressed.