What do Sexual Rights mean to young people around the world in different situations and cultures? This paper attempts to explore – through practical examples and voices from the ground – the implications of Sexual Rights on the lives of adolescents and young people, while detailing the history of Sexual Rights in the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
IPPF has long supported the Sexual Rights of young people. In 1996 young IPPF volunteers developed a poster on their Sexual Rights while in 1998 they wrote the Youth Manifesto. Once the IPPF Declaration on Sexual Rights was adopted, they developed a guide that enables other young people understand what Sexual Rights means for them. This practical application will be highlighted for programme and service providers.
The paper will take practical examples around providing sexual and reproductive health services to young people and study some of the dilemmas that service providers may face. Case studies will also be used to examine the notion of ‘parental rights’.
These dilemmas refer especially to the evolving capacity of the child (as mentioned in the Convention on the Rights of the Child) and its relation to the need for protecting children and young people versus the need to enable autonomous decision making among children and young people.
References: Exclaim! Young people’s guide to Sexual Rights (2010), Sexual Rights: An IPPF Declaration (2008), Voice! IPPF/Youth Manifesto (2000).
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