Call to introduce sexuality edn in school curriculum
Countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including Bangladesh, have been urged to introduce comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in school curriculum for ensuring sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of youth.
The youth forum of Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (APCSRHR) made the call at a press conference organised by APCSRHR yesterday marking Youth Day observed on August 12.
The press briefing was held at Grha Sabha Pramana of Gadjah Mada University ahead of the three-day APCSRHR begins today.
“We commit to complement efforts of the government, civil society, and development partners in promoting comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services through our peer education programmes targeted to our fellow young especially the key populations,” reads the youth declaration.
According to the declaration, around 850 million youth, half of the worlds youth population, live in the Asia-Pacific region. The traditionally conservative societies of this region look at claiming sexual and reproductive rights with a negative eye.
However, this social restriction does not help SRH as rate of teenage pregnancy is over 53 percent in South Asia and over 40 percent in South-East Asia, the declaration added.
“Young people are engaged in high risk behaviour that lead to the issues on sexual and reproductive health such as early pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS, unsafe abortion and gender-based violence,” said the declaration attributing the situation to lack of CSE.
Chairman of 6th APCRSHR Prof Muhadjir Darwin criticised states of Asia Pacific region for “no action, talk only” attitude regarding the rights of marginalised people like sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS.
“What they (the states) do is to save face instead of protecting the victims' rights and dignity as human beings or citizens,” he said at the press conference.
“Societies change and so does its norms and values. With this change the right to sexual and reproductive health have become more important and sensitive,” said Netherlands Ambassador on SRHR and HIV Marijke Wijnsronks.
Over 1000 people including 200 youth delegates from different countries are expected to attend the APCSRHR.
The APCSRHR conference, following successful conferences in Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Hyderabad and Beijing, is being organised under the sponsorship of and in collaboration with several government agencies, donor agencies, universities and NGOs in the Asia and Pacific regions.
The Asia-Pacific conference contains programmes like field visits and discussions and exhibition of marginalised youths to be participated by youths from elite society class of all participating countries.