Young people demand real empowerment

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Promoting the global voice of young people, IPPF is helping to secure active and meaningful youth particpation in the next development framework. Today, the world has the largest population of young people in history. 

The IPPF Youth Advocates gathered at Addis Ababa for the Third International Conference on Family Planning. Representing diverse youth groups from all over the world, they have identified their 4 main concerns and calls for action on young people and family planning:  

  1. Comprehensive Sexuality Education
  2. Accessibility & Barriers
  3. Meaningful Engagement & Participation Of Youth
  4. Youth-Friendly Services for all


1. Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Education is a basic human right and is a fundamental tool for the empowerment of young people and the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

What needs to be changed?

  • Education should be free and made available and accessible to everyone without discrimination.
  • It should be comprehensive and should facilitate intergenerational dialogue.
  • Comprehensive Sexuality Education should be made available to young people both in and out of school. It should be rights and evidence-based and meet the needs of all young people, including the most marginalized, regardless of HIV status, parental status, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or other status. It should be clear and understandable, broad-based and cover elementary to tertiary institutions.
  • National and local policies must establish and support compulsory comprehensive sexuality education in schools and communities, and to establish clear connections between the education and health sectors.

Why is this important?

To promote sexual and reproductive health rights and to foster the ability of young people to make informed and free decisions about their health and sexuality, all young people should know where, when and how to access sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning.

Action plan:

  • Support design and implementation of comprehensive sexuality education curricula for all countries, which covers from elementary to tertiary education, which is designed and adapted with young people and according to their needs and evolving capacities. Support peer to peer education and support for sexual and reproductive health and rights, including youth peer service provision for family planning services. Constantly mentor young people through peer education.
  • Provide safe spaces to facilitate the education and training of parents, communities and religious leaders.
  • Use innovative methods to facilitate round-the-clock access to information.

 2.       Accessibility Barriers

 What needs to be changed?

  • Eliminate punitive and restrictive laws and policies that restrict young people’s access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Remove legal, policy, regulatory barriers and other practises which prohibit access to safe and legal abortion to ensure access to abortion and post abortion care services for all people, including young people.
  • Eradicate cultural, religious, economic and social barriers that limit young people’s access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health rights and services.

Why is this important?

To guarantee that young people are able to exercise their rights to health and well-being, including access to family planning and other sexual and reproductive health services, in order to best protect their own health.

Action plan

  •  Establish strict laws which will abolish forced marriage of all people, especially girls and young women, and work with communities to promote gender equality at all ages. .
  • Remove laws, policies and practices that restrict access to safe abortion services.
  • Establish services and service standards in both public and private settings that promote the accessibility and availability of youth-friendly, rights-based family planning and other sexual and reproductive health services for young people,
  • Ensure that all laws and government policies are clear about a rights-based, youth-friendly approach to family planning, limiting ambiguity and misinterpretation.

3. Meaningful engagement and participation of youth.

What needs to change?

  • Young people, and especially key populations of young people, should be involved in law and policy making that relates to family planning.
  • Young people should be seen as stakeholders who are consulted when designing family planning, and be involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of family planning services.

Why is it important?

Young people represent the largest proportion of the world’s population and are greatly affected by global decisions and trends, and are best placed to understand and communicate their own points and priorities.


  • Involve young people in the identification of family planning challenges.
  • Prioritize the meaningful engagement of young people in the design, implementation and monitoring of family planning policies and prioritize young people in the policies.
  • Policy makers, organizations, civil society and governments should show more commitment to young people’s access to family planning

4.Provision of youth friendly services

What needs to change?

  • Sexual and reproductive health services should be available to everyone, especially to young people. They should respond to our needs and concerns without judgment, whilst also respecting our privacy and confidentiality.
  • Price and economic limitation should not be a barrier to access services.
  • SRH services especially Family planning should meet needs of key populations including Young People living with HIV (YPLHIV)
  • Youth-friendly services should be available in all service delivery facilities, and where cultural or other stigma prevents young people from accessing services in shared facilities they should be made available through dedicated facilities or other outreach strategies. 

Why is it important?

Family planning for young people is a high-profit investment both socially and economically, and youth-friendly services are the best way to address young people’s needs.

Intergration of FP and HIV service delivery will enable YPLHIV to also have a chance to enjoy their Sexual Reproductive Rights. 


  • Adequately train and empower service providers to deliver more youth friendly services.
  • Guarantee confidentiality and non-discrimination when providing services.
  • Adapt learning centres for youth so that they can talk about family planning and sexual and reproductive health in a safe environment.
  • Train more youth leaders in SRHR to increase the quality and amount of peer education programs.
  • Intergrate family planning service delivery with HIV to meet needs of Young women leaving with HIV.


Members of the IPPF Youth Action Movement (YAM) and Emerging Leaders Network