Youth engagement at the 2014 Partners' Forum

29-30 JUNE | Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Introduction

Over 100 youth representatives gathered in Johannesburg on 29 June in a pre-forum meeting aimed at identifying youth recommendations for improving reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and for integrating youth issues into the Post 2015 dialogue.

The session included presentation on youth related RMNCH issues which identified the need for strategies aimed at addressing child marriage, lack of girls’ education, malnutrition, sexual and other types of violence against girls and lack of access to health information and services – including family planning. This was followed by a presentation of the results of ongoing research on the reflection of youth priorities in the Post 2015 discussions, which find that while there has been an increased ask for youth position statements, and while these various position statements reflect similar priorities, there continues to be little integration of key adolescent health issues in the existing Post 2015 documents, particularly around issues such as sexual rights, abortion, sexual education and youth friendly services.

Youth taking part in the meeting identified critical actions that members of the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health community, including the PMNCH should undertake to improve health outcomes. They also identified critical areas for advocacy in the Post 2015 development agenda. These are reflected in the youth pre-forum outcome document.

Following the pre-forum and forum, youth also made commitments on steps they plan to take to implement learnings from the conference and advocate for youth priorities in Post 2015.

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