Innspill til UNFPA og den norske regjeringens globale tekniske møte om seksualitetsundervisning
Tidligere denne uken arrangerte Sex og Politikk den første globale IPPF konferansen om seksualitetsundervisning, eller «comprehensive sexuality education» (CSE) slik det heter i internasjonale fora. I to dager var over 50 eksperter og aktivister fra mer enn 30 land samlet for å diskutere og dele erfaringer knyttet til seksualitetsundervisning, hvor målet var å identifisere de beste praksisene, verktøyene og perspektivene for seksualitetsundervisning i et globalt perspektiv.
Sammen utformet konferansens deltakere et sluttdokument, som etter avslutningen av konferansen ble presentert av daglig leder i Sex og Politikk, Tor-Hugne Olsen, på FNs befolkningsfond (UNFPA) og den norske regjeringens globale tekniske møte om seksualitetsundervisning 14. desember. Innspillet lød som følger:
IPPF has a proud history of providing, enabling and advocating for Comprehensive Sexuality Education around the world. Since the creation of our CSE Framework in 2006 we have continued to build capacity and support for CSE, with our Member Associations reaching over 28 million young people with comprehensive sexuality education programmes last year.
IPPF acknowledges the Norwegian government’s commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and applauds Norway’s recent initiative to expand children and young people’s access to CSE. In the face of increasing opposition, and, in some instances a rolling back of existing rights, IPPF and others committed to ensuring young people’s right to good quality information, education and services value Norway’s strong leadership in this area. We greatly appreciate this opportunity to convene with other thought-leaders and stakeholders to map out what high-quality, rights-based provision of CSE can look like for children, adolescents and young people around the world.
The right to information about sexuality, reproductive rights and health, and gender equality has been established in several international instruments, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the ICPD Programme of Action and the UNESCO strategy 2014-2021. CSE is not just necessary to protect and advance young people’s health and wellbeing, but it is a right, which should be afforded to all.
IPPF believes that:
● CSE represents an important platform to discuss issues such as sexual and reproductive rights, sexual and gender based violence, relationships and more. It extends beyond just health outcomes to embracing sexuality as a positive aspect of our lives, with learning which can last and develop throughout the life-cycle.
● CSE must be rights based, founded on core values and human rights principles, and laws that guarantee human dignity, equal treatment and opportunities for participation.
● CSE should also be gender transformative, aiming to change restrictive gender norms and promote relationships between genders that are fair and just.
● Good quality CSE must be inclusive and informed by young people’s own needs and experiences – IPPF’s youth-centered approach ensures that young people feed in to CSE programmes at every level. This includes reaching out-of-school and other underserved populations, including young people with disabilities.
● CSE should be sex-positive: educational materials should demonstrate a non-judgemental and positive attitude towards sexuality and clarify that sexual pleasure is important for personal well-being and happiness.
CSE is key for empowering young people to develop critical thinking skills, positive citizenship and civic participation and to seek healthy and positive relationships. Research shows that CSE is cost-effective and has positive impacts on young people’s health outcomes. What has proven to be the most effective means for ensuring young people gain knowledge of sexuality, gender, and relationships is the availability of compulsory CSE delivered by trained educators, which is integrated into curricula and policy documents.
IPPF hopes to see continued political and financial support in the area of CSE and strengthened support of young people’s rights to comprehensive education and SRH services in the face of increasing opposition. Access to CSE must be aligned with good quality, youth friendly and non discriminatory health services, advocacy work which protects and enables young people’s right to information and healthcare, and sensitization of stakeholders and other key adults that have influence in the lives of young people.
We ask that Governments:
1. Acknowledge that access to CSE including information about sexuality, gender, and relationships is a fundamental human right.
2. Remove legal barriers to young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, and adopt enabling policy frameworks. Ensure consistent implementation, monitoring mechanisms and long-term core funding for CSE – coordinating health, education and other relevant sectors for a joined-up approach.
3. Include CSE (as previously defined), as compulsory content in schools/other educational establishments, into the curricula at least from primary school level onwards.
4. Enable civil society and communities to participate and provide technical support in the development of curriculum and delivery, as well as participate in the monitoring of non – formal CSE including for out-of-school young people.
5. Ensure that educators possess the skills needed to deliver CSE by including CSE in educator training and, ensure ongoing training and support.
6. Accompany CSE interventions with community sensitization, particularly of parents, aimed at changing social norms around sexuality and CSE and provide space for young people to influence and demand their rights.
We hope that to see high quality and comprehensive CSE programmes, informed by the revised UNESCO guidelines, being supported by governments and other key stakeholders. IPPF anticipates a continued dialogue with Norad and other key leaders in this field to push forward on this very important issue which has the potential to change the lives of many children and young people worldwide.
I thank you for your attention.