Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) supports young people to make better, informed decisions and often delays initiation of sexual activity and reduces sexual risk taking. It does not lead to increased sexual activity. It also gives young people the confidence to access services and support when they need it. Ministers, decision-makers, community-leaders, civil-society, and parents play a critical role in ensuring all children and young people have access to good quality CSE.
- Work together, as education and health sectors, on a common agenda for young people
- Review urgently, and where necessary amend, existing laws and policies to promote independent access to CSE
- Initiate and scale up age-appropriate CSE, starting in primary school and lasting the duration of formal schooling
- Ensure young people have access to the commodities that they need to prevent pregnancy and HIV, including condoms
- Strengthen gender equality and rights within education and health services
- Jointly mobilise resources for scaled up action and joint programming
- Ensure that the design and delivery of CSE and sexual and reproductive health programs includes ample participation by communities and families,
Parliamentarians and decision makers can:
- Give young people a voice at the highest levels of decision-making and involve them in discussions on CSE
- Advocate for reforms or reviews of legislation and policy on CSE, including sexual and reproductive health, the age of consent and accessibility to services
- Act as opinion leaders in the community and at national level on issues where change is needed, especially on difficult issues
- Educate the public and your constituency on the need for quality CSE for young people
- Hold ministries and other public services accountable for allocated resources.
- Encourage open discussion with children at home about the changes in their lives, preparing for adulthood and relationships.
- Listen to children and other young people in the community and find ways to support them when they need help on difficult personal issues.
- Speak up at school and in the community, support teachers and schools providing CSE
- Support other parents in the community who need information or advice about CSE for young people
- Write to local newspapers and politicians to express your support for CSE
Community and religious leaders can:
- Organize meetings with parents and teachers to discuss solutions to reduce the broad health and education challenges affecting young people
- Create time and space for open discussion and courageous decision-making on the critical needs of adolescents and young people
- Promote practices and traditions that protect and advance young people’s well-being and minimize or discourage those that undermine or prevent health, knowledge and informed decision-making
- Educate the community that through CSE , young people are better informed to make healthy decisions about their bodies and more likely to delay sexual activity
Civil society can:
- Support the voices and actions of adolescents and young people via youth groups, meetings and online social networks
- Engage and lobby education and health leaders and ministers on the urgency of the issues and the benefits and viability of providing CSE
- Work with other NGOs, CSOs and youth activists to take concerted, joined-up action sharing a united call to action
- Advocate for change on all national platforms concerning programming for young people on CSE