Championing Youth Rights
Young people are at the heart of our work. We fight with them and for them, recognising their potential as educators, activists and advocates, and helping to ensure that no young person is neglected. In Europe today, there are 90 million young people. They have the potential to drive change to build a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable world. However, far too many young people are placed in danger because they can’t access the sexual and reproductive health care, information and education they need.
IPPF EN works to equip young people with the crucial life skills needed to achieve health and well-being through ensuring access to youth-friendly care, and developing their emotional and sexual literacy. More than half of all our care is delivered to young people. We strive to ensure that all young people in our region can speak up and make informed decisions about their right to sexual and reproductive health care, including those not in formal education. This reflects the global sustainable development targets requiring education programmes to enhance gender equity and build happy and healthy relationships based on consent and respect. Sexuality education is essential to protect all young people from violence and sexual harassment.
Currently, 27 million young people in Europe are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Young people in Europe are too often kept on the fringes of decision-making processes that will affect their lives and futures. This is why we ensure that they are at the heart of all IPPF EN programmes and why we require a minimum of 20% of young people at all levels of our governance. We support them to take leadership roles in their communities, and our youth network YSAFE has created an important space for young volunteers to represent their peers. This ensures they remain at the centre of decisionmaking processes in all our member associations across the region.