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Rights. Respect. Responsibility.
The Vision: Rights. Respect. Responsibility. Print

Advocates for Youth believes that all young people have the right to the reproductive and sexual health information, confidential, safe services and a secure stake in the future. Advocates envisions a world in which societies view adolescent sexual development as normal and healthy, treat youth as partners in promoting sexual health and value young people’s relationships with each other and with adults. The core values of Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® (3Rs) animate this vision. 

At a societal level, Advocates believes that—


Youth have the right to accurate and complete sexual health information, confidential reproductive and sexual health services, and a secure stake in the future.


Youth deserve respect. Valuing young people means involving them in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies that affect their health and well-being.


Society has the responsibility to provide young people with the tools they need to safeguard their sexual health, and young people have the responsibility to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Further, Advocates believes that Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® provides a framework for establishing healthy interpersonal relationships between young people and between youth and adults—


Young people have the right to be safe and healthy within their relationships—free from physical or emotional coercion. They have the right to make decisions based on their own personal values.


Young people demonstrate respect for each other within relationships by taking the needs of others into account.  Parents and society as a whole should demonstrate respect for young peoples’ relationships and help them to gain the emotional and communications skills key to establishing and sustaining healthy relationships.


Young people have the responsibility to protect their own emotional and physical health as well as that of their partners. Parents, families and society have the responsibility to nurture relationships with young people that are healthy, honest, and respectful.

Origin of the 3Rs

Regularly since 1998, Advocates for Youth and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte sponsor an annual study tour to France, Germany, and the Netherlands to explore why adolescent sexual health outcomes are so much more positive in the three European countries than in the United States.

Rights. Respect. Responsibility.® The study tour participants—policy makers, researchers, youth-serving professionals, foundation officers, clergy members, and youth—have found that this trilogy of values underpins a social philosophy regarding adolescent sexual health in France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Each of these nations has an unwritten social contract with young people: "We'll respect your right to act responsibly, giving you the tools you need to avoid unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and in turn you will protect your health and that of your partner."

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