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Dispatches from CPD 2012: Tracking the Opposition’s Attacks on Youth Rights

12:47 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Anonymous for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

To see all our coverage of the 2012 Commission on Population and Development, click here.

Photo by David Dennis.

This week, the United Nations (UN) is host to the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development. This annual meeting builds on a resolution made in Cairo back in 1994 that outlines how country governments can ensure the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of their people, and of women and young people in particular. Each year, the Commission assesses countries’ progress on this agreement and new commitments are made to prioritize efforts for the forthcoming year. This year, for the first time, it’s focused exclusively on the needs of young people and we are here at the UN, en force.

As a young sexual and reproductive health activist, I believe in the importance of a rights-based approach to all aspects of sexuality, realized through the provision of basic health services like comprehensive sexuality education and safe abortion. It is not my opinion that we should force these, or any other, services on young people, but rather that we should have the ability to access them if we want to.

Clearly, not everyone believes this. Over the past few years, as the global economic recession and a neoconservative shift has swept the globe, there are more and more organisations that exist to oppose the values and missions of rights-based organisations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), which I’m here representing. Many of these opposition efforts are religiously-motivated. Their ‘anti-sexual and reproductive health and rights’ discourse is forever present in the media and continued debate occurs over these controversial issues.

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Dispatches from CDP 2012: Why Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights are Not “Anti-Family”

12:42 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Yolí Sánchez Neyoy for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Cross-posted with permission from The Watchdog. To see all our coverage of the 2012 Commission on Population and Development, click here.

Photo by Tetra Pak.

I am a 29-year-old woman from Mexico, and I’m here at the Commission on Population and Development working to promote young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. I come from a family which I love, and from which I have received a lot of support for all my endeavors. I am a strong believer that family, in all its forms, is an important unit of society, and that it can play a strong role in educating young people and adolescents. I am also a strong believer that individuals’ human rights should be respected.

I do believe however that youth and adolescents’ access to comprehensive sexuality education should not be limited by or to their parents. Why? Many young people do not have a supportive family, their family may not know how to or want to answer young people’s questions, or worse, they may have the wrong information that will put young people at risk.

Some young people may be mistreated by their parents for bringing up controversial topics, regarding sexuality and health; how does THAT help? Additionally, adolescents will not ask questions if they are not in a safe environment, and some families don’t always make this easy. These are questions they need and have the right to have answers on, and their health and wellbeing is at stake.

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