International Youth Day 2020

Meaningful youth engagement to enhance adolescent sexual and reproductive well being and rights  

Every day, younger folks are enriching establishments and processes on the native, nationwide, and international ranges.  

This yr, the theme of International Youth Day is “Youth Engagement for Global Action.” It
highlights the significance and worth of younger folks’s contributions and attracts classes on how their illustration and engagement in formal institutional politics will be considerably enhanced.  

The theme of the day raises three questions: 

  1. What is significant youth engagement? 
  2. What are the advantages and challenges of significant youth engagement? 
  3. How does WHO attempt to observe significant youth engagement in its work? 

What is significant youth engagement? 

Meaningful youth engagement, as outlined by the 2018 Global Consensus Statement, is an inclusive,
intentional, mutually-respectful partnership between younger folks and adults.  Power is shared and respective contributions are valued. 

Young folks’s concepts, views, abilities, and strengths are built-in into the design and supply of applications, methods, insurance policies, funding mechanisms – and organizations that have an effect on their lives and their communities, international locations, and
world. 

What are the advantages and challenges of significant youth engagement? 

Meaningful youth engagement ensures that younger persons are equal and priceless companions – not solely beneficiaries – in efforts to enhance their well being and wellbeing. It will increase the chance that insurance policies and programmes will likely be acceptable,
acceptable, and attentive to their wants and preferences.  

Although international rhetoric more and more acknowledges the worth of significant youth engagement, it typically stays extra of an aspiration than a actuality. There remains to be appreciable resistance to giving younger folks a spot on the desk. 

When younger persons are given alternatives to contribute, it’s most frequently older, city, educated, and well-connected younger folks which can be chosen. Their engagement is commonly tokenistic and their obligations small, for example main
energizer actions at conferences, taking notes throughout conferences, or formatting references in stories. Additionally, younger folks’s contributions are not often measured successfully to display their worth, and their contributions are
typically not appropriately acknowledged, both with authorship or compensation.  

This should not be the case. Meaningful youth engagement is central to the success of insurance policies and programmes geared toward enhancing younger folks’s well being and wellbeing, and can present younger folks with alternatives
to develop skillsets they may want as the subsequent technology of leaders.  

How does the WHO attempt to observe significant youth engagement in its work? 

The WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research and the Human Reproduction Programme (HRP) attempt to use the ideas of significant youth engagement, as outlined within the Global Consensus Statement, significantly with work
on adolescent sexual and reproductive well being and rights (ASRHR).  

For instance, it put significant youth engagement into observe with the WHO and UNFPA-led complement of the Journal of Adolescent Health. This complement takes inventory of progress made in ASRHR within the
25 years because the International Conference on Population and Development and units out priorities for the long run.  

The strategy of creating the complement was: 

Transparent and informative. Seven younger folks from Botswana, Fiji, India, Lithuania, Mexico, Pakistan, and Turkey had been recognized utilizing a structured choice course of, in collaboration with the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child (PMNCH). Their choice was primarily based on profiles with particular standards, the identical as for representatives from worldwide organizations, governments,
academia, civil society, and funding businesses. 

Rights-based. The younger folks engaged actively and as equal companions with the opposite contributors all through the method. They performed a key position in guaranteeing that younger folks’s rights had been entrance and middle within the content material
of the complement.  

Voluntary and free from coercion. The younger folks had been issued formal contracts, assuring co-authorship and compensation for his or her effort and time. These contracts had been developed with and authorized by the younger
folks, themselves.  

Safe. The contracts spelled out clear expectations concerning their roles and obligations, which had been totally consistent with their skills. Additionally, all through the method, they’d a focal particular person they may flip to for assist.  

Respectful of younger folks’s views, backgrounds, and identities. The younger folks started by sharing their particular person concepts and views, after which labored collaboratively with one another and with the broader group of
co-authors to tug collectively key themes and messages and develop the papers. Next, they labored with an artist to develop an illustrated video to deliver the complement to life, highlighting what they felt to be an important messages of the
complement.  

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA) and the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP), two of the organizations represented by the younger folks, are contributing to upcoming regional
webinars to disseminate the complement and draw out its specific relevance for every WHO area.