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December 2012 iYAN Newsletter

December 2012 iYAN

Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network (iYAN) consists of youth activists and adult allies from low and middle-income countries who are working to influence policies and programs in their countries and internationally to support improved youth reproductive and sexual health. Members of the iYAN connect to share information about their work; are provided information about scholarships and networking opportunities; get up-to-date information on downloadable advocacy materials and tool kits; and receive a monthly newsletter with information on advocacy, youth activism, and mobilization on important issues like sex education, access to contraception, and prevention of adolescent maternal mortality and HIV.

Sharing Our Passion: Blogs from Advocates’ International Youth Bloggers and Other Amplify Posts!  

Sex Education in Cameroon: A New Dawn, by Gaston, Cameroon Education is one of the cornerstones on which any development worth the name is built. The growing acknowledgement of this fact has led to the emergence of many nations in our world today. But the fact that education has become an item at the top of the agenda of major international bodies and policy formulation processes is not enough. The efficiency of the educational system is an important aspect of quality education that is most often neglected by educational authorities and policy makers in Cameroon. In fact, many now believe that our educational system more than any other thing is the cause of our problems. To read more, go to: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/gastonkwa/2012/11/27/sex-education-in-cameroon-a-new-dawn

Brochures and Informational Materials: Bringing Change in…, by Danik, Kyrgyzstan I read several brochures and informational materials, published by different local organizations, working with HIV prevention, MSM group, etc. Some of them are very good, full of vital and necessary information, written clearly. However, there’s a plenty of brochures of a poor quality, which can be even harmful to the community. For instance, I don’t like those brochures, which capitalize the word “NORMAL” in explaining certain terms. To read more, go to: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/danik/2012/11/7/brochures-and-informational-materials-bringing-change-or-increasing-harm

The Effect of Early Marriage, by radical, Nigeria Early marriage is one of the key issues affecting female children between the ages of 9-17. These occur mostly in the northern part of Nigeria where they believe a child’s first menstrual period should be in the husband’s house. In some cases, these girls are even given out before they were born to a man old enough to be their father. Could this be poverty or should I say culture? Some cultural practices have led us astray, causing harm to young people who are being fed with these lies. Making the girl child see herself like a baby making when she has been born into abject poverty. To read more, go to: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/radical/2012/11/5/the-effect-of-early-marriage.

Increase Women Diplomats in Climate Change Negotiations, by Leo, the Philippines If there is a place hotter beyond the 4 degrees Celsius increase in temperature of our world climate, it is Doha, Qatar. For the coming weeks, the governments of the world who are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, civil society organization, and constituencies will convene in this small but fossil fuel oil rich Arab state in the Middle East to decide on the future of the world dealing with the harmful effects of climate change. There is a daunting task ahead and … http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/leovlauzon/2012/11/25/increase-women-diplomats-in-climate-negotiations

What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

The Time is Now campaign mobilizes to integrate gender and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights at the UN Meeting on Climate Change Through The Time is Now, activists seek to bring consideration of gender and reproductive and sexual health and rights to climate change discussions. In Doha, there was a major victory for the campaign and other civil society organizations and networks, as activists at the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP 18) successfully advocated for language around gender equality and the representation of women at future climate change conferences – important because women are disproportionately impacted by climate change. The draft decision, titled “Promoting gender equality and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol,” can be viewed here: http://www.wecf.eu/download/2012/december/gender_balance.pdf

In addition, endorsed by organizations from the Global South and North, the Time is Now campaign circulated and submitted two organizational sign on letters leading up to this year’s UN Climate Change meeting. Advocates’ staff, with input from the campaign’s Advisory Board, crafted the letters in response to recommendations from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary, Ms Figueres, to reach out to the Adaptation Committee and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG). Ms. Figueres kindly shared these suggestions in response to a letter submitted by Advocates on behalf of the Time is Now campaign following the submission of last year’s petition at the Climate Change Conference in Durban. The letter to the Adaptation Committee requests that the committee: include discussion of gender, young people, and sexual and reproductive health and rights as it pertains to climate change adaptation and mitigation upon providing technical support and guidance to the Parties; share relevant information, knowledge, experience and illustrative good practices on sexual and reproductive health and rights programming as part of the technical support and guidance provided to the Parties; and promote synergy and strengthen engagement between national, regional and international organizations, centers and networks that are working on climate change and sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and young people.

The letter to the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) requests following as it pertains to the technical guidance for the National Adaptation Plan process: include discussion of gender, young people, and sexual and reproductive health and rights as it pertains to climate change adaptation and mitigation; if there is a section on case studies, include a country example where addressing gender vulnerabilities and related adaptation solutions in the main part of the document; and if there is a section or annex on key vulnerabilities and adaptation solutions, include at least one example that addresses gender and sexual and reproductive health/family planning solutions. The letter also requested inclusion of gender, young people, and sexual and reproductive health and rights as it pertains to climate change adaptation and mitigation during regional training workshops for LDC Parties on technical guidance, sharing of best practices and lessons learned, and promotion of regional and international synergies. Advocates will work with the campaign to follow-up on these requests post COP 18. To read about this year’s Climate Change Conference, check out Mimi’s blogs below:

One Voice Summit: A Conference for Youth Leaders on Environmental and Reproductive Justice From November 16-19, 2012, Advocates for Youth, in partnership with SIECUS and the Sierra Club, hosted the One Voice Summit—a youth activist training and policymaker education day focused on building knowledge about the connections between global sexual and reproductive health and rights and the environment and making recommendations to policymakers about these issues. Advocates’ global south youth leaders from Nigeria and Jamaica, as well as members of Advocates’ International Youth Leadership Council, attended, moderated, and presented at sessions throughout the event. Check out this blog from a participant who attended the One Voice Summit:

My Voice Counts! URGENT: SIGN AND SHARE: Stop Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill! In Uganda, a terrifying “anti-homosexuality” bill has resurfaced within parliament for discussion. At its worst, it would call for putting LGBT people to death. In addition, it would demand a three-year prison sentence for people who do not turn in “known homosexuals” to the police, and a seven year sentence for “aiding and abating” homosexuality. When the bill was last introduced, human rights and LGBT rights groups were horrified, and many governments condemned it. Pressure from around the globe led to its never being voted on. We need to put that pressure on again NOW.

  • Let Uganda’s parliament and the world know you join with the millions who condemn this bill by tweeting about it today.
  • Then sign a petition urging Uganda’s President to veto the bill if it passes.

Let young LGBT people in Uganda know you support them and ask Uganda’s prime minister to speak out against the bill today. Tweet and sign the petition. Be a part of the Post-2014 Nairobi Youth Declaration by inputting into the survey! From 18th-20th December 2012, about 100 African young leaders will gather in the UN Gigiri, Nairobi, for the African Youth Conference on Post-2015 Development Agenda. Convened by the Organization of African Youth-Kenya and with the support of partners, the conference aims to access the progress made in achieving the MDGs in Africa and engaging young people as partners in the acceleration of achievement of MDGs, planning for Post-2015 Agenda and building the Future We Want for Africa. The ultimate outcome will be releasing the Post-2015 Nairobi Youth Declaration. The organizers are inviting African youth to be part of drafting the declaration by participating in a survey. This will ensure the process in open, inclusive and representative of every African youth. Those not able to go to Nairobi can further input into the declaration through the social media debate via Facebook and twitter. You can also upload a short video message to the Youtube channel to be featured during the conference.   Hurry! You can access the youth survey here Join the conversation in the Facebook page here Follow on twitter here Post your short video message here For more information about the Post-2015 Process, visit this site For more information, contact: George Ndungu, National Coordinator, Kenya Youth Network for Rio+20 and Beyond: +254719810024 or www.kenyayouthnetwork.blogspot.com Campaign 155 helps mobilize towards tougher laws against bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan kyrgyzstan In Kyrgyzstan, stealing girls to force them into marriage, or bride kidnapping, results in only a three-year sentence. Thanks to mobilization efforts like Campaign 155, a bill is working its way through the Kyrgyz parliament that would increase the maximum sentence for those kidnapping girls under 17 years of age to 10 years in prison. To read more about the campaign and see some recent photos, check out Danik’s blog post direct from Kyrgystan here: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/danik/2012/11/7/campaign-155-was-sucessfull To check out and like Campaign 155 on facebook, go here: http://www.facebook.com/155.kg Y-PEER@10: Shaping Youth SRH Peer Education and Activism in the World and Y-Peer Global Advisory Board Meeting by Shubha, Nepal Y-Peer Meeting Global Advisory Members This past October, Y-PEER celebrated a decade of working on young people’s sexual and reproductive health across more than 52 countries and contributing to the global advocacy agenda. The 10th anniversary was celebrated at a Y-PEER Global Advisory Board (GAB) meeting that was held in Hammamet, Tunisia. The GAB meeting is the annual meeting of Y-PEER Focal Points from different countries around the world. More than 40 young people took part in the GAB meeting along with our partner, the Y-PEER Peer Education Training and Research Institute (PETRI) Sofia and UNFPA. During the meeting, facilitated by two Y-PEER alumni board members, the board reflected on achievements and shared their national level experience working on SRHR through advocacy efforts, capacity building, trainings, active participation in national/ international conferences and campaigns. Y-PEER’s 10 Days of Activism (10DoA) Campaign was one of the key highlights noted during the meeting. Discussions also revolved around the importance of its existing and possible partners including youth-led and youth serving organizations and the achievements associated through the partnership and collaboration in past years. A total of four Y-PEER International Coordinators (ICs) who have served for 2 years graduated and joined Y-PEER Alumni Board while others were elected for these roles. Y-PEER International also provided awards to the national networks for their achievements. The meeting concluded with hope and renewed energy to develop and implement creative and youth-led approaches to advance young people’s sexual and reproductive health.   For more information about the Y-PEER International network, please contact: ypeer-ics2012-13@googlegroups.com)  

Theatre for Activism Opportunity! Are you excited about reaching out to people through the medium of theater? Do you want to start a venture that will impact people in your home country? Or do you know passionate actors, social workers, activists or interested young people who share this dream? The D&F Academy offers fully funded fellowships for our Theater Project in Hamburg, Germany, with author and director Nils Daniel Finckh. Applications are now open to young people aged 18 and 28 worldwide and are due January 7, 2013 (10 am, CET). The one-year program is an opportunity for both professionals and young people who believe in change through creative processes and the power of theater action. The Fellows for the Theater Project will spend ten weeks from April to June 2013 in Hamburg. During that time, they investigate and learn with their project Friend and eminent Experts how they can use theater as a catalyst to give people a voice and to make social change in their societies happen. All tuition costs, as well travel expenses to the project in Hamburg, will be covered by the D&F Academy.   Go here for information to apply. To download a pdf with more information about the project, go to: www.dfacademy.org  

Read All About it!

General Assembly Committee Calls for Stronger Global Efforts to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting The Third Committee of the General Assembly this week adopted a resolution calling for intensified global efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation and cutting. The resolution calls on the international community to support a four-year extension for the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, ‘Accelerating Change’. It also gives the General Assembly’s endorsement to an International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which is observed on 6 February. To read the article, go to: https://www.unfpa.org/public/home/news/pid/12723

Husband wants answers over wife whose death sparked abortion debate One fateful day in October, life changed forever for Praveen Halappanavar. The engineer from India, who had settled in Ireland four years earlier with his wife, Savita, found himself suddenly a widower. Savita, a 31-year-old dentist, had died of blood poisoning after being denied an abortion for a miscarrying fetus under Ireland’s strict laws, her husband says. Read more: Protesters in Ireland rally for abortion rights A month later, Halappanavar is without his beloved partner and the child they both longed for — and now fears the truth behind her tragic death may be lost, too. To read the full article, go to: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/23/world/europe/ireland-abortion-controversy/index.html

Hillary Clinton launches blueprint for eradication of AIDS The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, is launching a blueprint for the eradication of AIDS across the globe, which will aim to focus efforts on preventing the spread of the disease and reaching all those who need treatment. Clinton called for the blueprint in her keynote speech at the International Aids Conference in Washington DC in July, when she pledged that the Obama administration would do whatever it took to end the HIV epidemic. “I’m here to make it absolutely clear that the US is committed and will remain committed to achieving an Aids-free generation. We will not back off and we will not back down. We will fight for the resources necessary to achieve this historic milestone,” she told the 25,000-strong conference. To read the full article, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/nov/29/hillary-clinton-blueprint-aids Watch Secretary Clinton’s remarks about the blueprint for World AIDS Day: Secretary Clinton

http://bcove.me/0ztk217z To read the Blueprint, go to: http://www.pepfar.gov/documents/organization/201386.pdf

Tools You Can Use

State of World Population 2012, By Choice, Not By Chance: Family Planning, Human Rights and Development, UNFPA. This flagship report analyzes data and trends to understand who is denied access to family planning and why. It examines challenges in expanding access to family planning, recognized the lack of access and barriers facing young people in particular, and it considers the social and economic impact of family planning as well as the costs and savings of making it available to everyone who needs it. The report asserts that governments, civil society, health providers and communities have the responsibility to protect the right to family planning for women across the spectrum, including those who are young or unmarried. Available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian, to access the report, go to: http://www.unfpa.org/public/cache/offonce/home/publications/pid/12511;jsessionid=CA0F696FAE27A3D332303728BDE2AAD2.jahia02 To view an Advocates’ blog about the publication, “By Choice, Not by Chance: Family Planning is Everyone’s Right,” go to: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/11/21/by-choice-not-by-chance-family-planning-is-everyone%E2%80%99s-right  

2012 UNAIDS World AIDS Day Report: Results, UNAIDS A new World AIDS Day report: Results, by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), shows that unprecedented acceleration in the AIDS response is producing results for people. The report shows that a more than 50% reduction in the rate of new HIV infections has been achieved across 25 low- and middle-income countries––more than half in Africa, the region most affected by HIV. Further, the report notes that young people are a key part of this progress–globally, worldwide prevalence among young people ages 15 to 24 fell by 27 percent between 2001 and 2011. The greatest progress was seen in South and South-East Asia where HIV prevalence among young men and women fell by 50%. Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean followed with a drop of more than 35% among young men and women. To read the full report, go to: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/20121120_globalreport2012/ To view a an Advocates’ blog about the publication, “Young people are the fulcrum,” go to: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/afy_emilyb/2012/11/21/%e2%80%9cyoung-people-are-the-fulcrum%e2%80%9d

Community Innovation: Achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for Women and Girls through the HIV Response, UNAIDS, The ATHENA Network Creating an enabling environment for all women—especially for women living with HIV—to access services and fulfill their human rights is one of the central tenets of the UNAIDS Agenda for Women and Girls. Equally important is the support for leadership and meaningful participation by networks of women living with HIV, and other women’s groups, in addressing gaps in services and barriers to achieving women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health. This report contains case studies from across the world that highlight the rich diversity of community initiatives that bridge sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV. To access the document, go to: http://www.unaids.org/en/media/unaids/contentassets/documents/document/2011/07/20110719_Community%20innovation.pdf  

USAID’s Policy on Youth in Development, USAID In November the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched its first-ever Youth in Development Policy. The policy provides the agency with important guidance recognizing young people as a driving force in global development efforts. Nearly two years in the making, the policy seeks to strengthen youth programming, participation, and partnership while mainstreaming and integrating young people throughout all of the agency’s policies and programs.   To read the policy, go here: http://transition.usaid.gov/our_work/policy_planning_and_learning/documents/Youth_in_Development_Policy.pdf   To view an Advocates’ blog about the policy, “USAID Launches First-Ever Youth in Development Policy,”go to: http://amplifyyourvoice.org/u/afy_janine/2012/11/30/usaid-launches-first-ever-youth-in-development-policy

Coming Up

Happy New Year from Advocates for Youth!

As the time comes to celebrate a New Year, let’s look back at the great work that we have all been doing and feel proud. While there is still much work to be done and serious threats to young people’s rights around the world, as 2012 comes to an end, it’s an opportunity to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and reflect on what we have yet to achieve as a global movement for sexual and reproductive health and rights. We look forward to working with you in the New Year to leverage opportunities to be the best leaders we can be, speak out about the issues that we care about, reach out to the media to amplify our voices, and educate policy makers. Let’s keep up the good work, inspire each other, and not be afraid to try new things—the stuff that skeptics might say “can’t be done.” In solidarity, Advocates wishes each and every one of you a very happy New Year and all the best to come in 2013!

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