IPPF today launched its global campaign calling for better quality Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to advance young people’s human rights.
The campaign – Know it, Own it – was launched at an event during Women Deliver in Copenhagen in the presence of 600 young people, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Chairman of the UN General Assembly.
The campaign highlights that sex education across the world is ‘too little, too late and too biological’ and rarely covers complete, scientific information, or young people’s personal, emotional and cultural journey which can shape the way they choose to live their lives.
Access to high quality CSE is essential to ensuring that the 1.8 billion young people worldwide are given the opportunity to know about their bodies to grow up happy and healthy.
It is more than just body biology and busting myths.
CSE is a life-long process of acquiring high quality and evidence-based information, skills and values about sexuality and relationships that begins during childhood and youth.
However, information on sexuality alone is not enough. CSE equips young people with life skills and empowers them to make autonomous, informed decisions. Young people must be able to act on the knowledge and skills to determine and enjoy their sexuality in all spheres of life.
Whether sexually active or not, young people should be given the information they need to enable them to feel comfortable and confident about their bodies and their sexuality. Sexual orientation is an entitlement. Fundamentally, sex can be fun. It is what keeps us all alive but with this comes the absolute necessity for consent. Everybody has the right to decide with whom, when and how to have sex so they can protect themselves and respect others.
CSE lays the foundation for a safe and fulfilling passage to adulthood, and leads to:
Awareness of human rights • Respect, acceptance, tolerance and empathy for others • Gender equality • Confidence and self-esteem • Skills in contraceptive use • Empowerment and solidarity • Critical thinking • Skills in negotiation, decision-making and assertiveness • Parent-child communication • Sexual pleasure and mutually respectful relationships •
High quality CSE can help delay young people’s first sexual experience and can reduce unprotected sex, as well as decrease the number of sexual partners that young people have. It can also increase contraceptive and condom use, and help reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
The campaign urges governments and policymakers to strengthen policies around sexuality education to improve the human rights of young people around the world. Young people need and deserve information and education about sex and sexuality.
When you are sure of your body, and when you are sure of yourself, you will be happy and healthy. It is YOUR choice, and YOUR right.
For more information on youth rights and sexuality education check out our Youth Hub.