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July 2015 iYAN Newsletter

Advocates for Youth Newsletter

July 2015

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.


What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates Engages in Training for LGBTQ Youth Leaders with Program Partner in Kenya. Advocates traveled to Kisumu, Kenya, to support a training of 20 LGBTQ activists hosted by partner organization Men Against AIDS Youth Group (MAAYGO). MAAYGO is a non-profit organization that works to promote awareness of HIV/AIDS and advocate for the heath rights and economic empowerment of the MSM community.

The training focused on:

  • sexual and reproductive health and rights related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) youth
  • LGBTQ terminology
  • human anatomy, STIs and safer sex negotiation
  • youth friendly services for LGBTQ youth
  • challenges facing LGBTQ youth in communal, familial, religious and school settings and ways to support LGBTQ youth in navigating these challenges
  • development of an action plan for educating other LGBTQ youth about safer sex linkages to health services.

At the end of the training, participants indicated that they wanted to start a Kisumu-wide youth advocacy council to push for LGBTQ youth specific issues including working with health care providers and conducting outreach to their LGBTQ peers, family members and lawmakers in order to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Advocates for Youth Participates in African LGBTI Conference in Kenya, Changing Faces, Changing Spaces. Organized by the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, the Changing Faces, Changing Spaces Conference is an Africa-wide biennial meeting convening of sex worker and LGBTI activists and partners. Over the last five years, the conference has brought together over 500 human rights activists and organizations, health and legal professionals, allies, and donor partners undertaking and supporting sex worker and LGBTI activism in Africa. While at the conference, Advocates for Youth engaged particularly with LGBTI youth delegates in support of the emergence of a new network of young LGBTIQ Africans who are organizing to make sure that youth voices are heard and integrated within the larger LGBTI African movement. The statement from the newly launched African Queer Youth Initiative can be found here in English and in French.

My Voice Counts!

Check out New Online Campaign to Counter Abortion Stigma in India. CREA, in collaboration with Youth Ki Awaaz, has launched an online campaign to address the stigma and shame associated with abortion in India. The 3 month online campaign culminates on Sept 28 – Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. To find out more about the campaign, go here.

#NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) Campaign. Outraged Argentineans have launched the campaign #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less) to call for an end to femicide. In April in the central city of Córdoba, María Eugenia Lancetti was stabbed to death in front of her kindergarten class by her husband. In May in Santa Fe, 14-year-old Chiara Páez was beaten to death and buried by her 16-year-old boyfriend and four of his relatives after she revealed that she was pregnant. These recent acts of violence against women sparked the anti-femicide Ni Una Menos campaign throughout Argentina—engage by going to #NiUnaMenos.

Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW 2016-2020). Worldwide, some progress has been made in recent decades in attaining women’s rights and equal treatment. Many countries have abolished discriminatory laws and criminalized violence against women. They have made investments in health and education, and in some countries the economic participation of women has increased. In general, however, the pace of change is slow. In some countries and sectors, progress is at a standstill or has even been reversed. Despite major regional and contextual differences, experts agree that there is no country where progress towards gender equality is either assured or irreversible. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands aims to improve the position of women and girls in the World. Hence another round of funding is now been made available: Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW).

FLOW funds programs in low- and lower-middle income countries. 93 million EUR is available for the period of 2016-202, for programs aiming at:

  1. combating violence against women;
  2. Participation by women in politics and public administration; and
  3. Women’s economic participation and self-reliance

The deadline for submitting FLOW proposals is 31 August 2015. More information about FLOW, e.g. policy framework and application form, in the documents below.

Go here for more information: Download “Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW 2016-2020)”

Specific questions can be addressed to : DSO-FLOW-tender@minbuza.nl and twitter accounts @community_flow and @nlwomensrights.

Apply for Movies the Matter Small Grants. Are you planning to organize a festival or event with human rights films in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America or the Middle East? Movies that Matter offers small grants (up to EUR 7,500) to stage human rights film festivals and screenings in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

It supports events like:

  • mobile cinema projects
  • human rights film festivals travelling film festivals
  • film outreach projects
  • festivals promoting dialogue on LGBTI or women rights
  • and other innovative projects that uses cinema to stimulate the discussion on human rights, social justice and freedom of expression.

The next deadline for applications is 15 September 2015.

For more information, selection criteria and application forms, go here.

For more information about Movies that Matter’s earlier grantees, go here.

Please note that Movies that Matter does not support film production!

Tools You Can Use

A UNAIDS–Lancet Commission on Defeating AIDS—Advancing Global Health by Peter Piot, Salim S Abdool Karim, Robert Hecht, Helena Legido-Quigley, Kent Buse, John Stover, Stephen Resch. The Lancet Commission released a new report that calls for urgently scaling up access to HIV treatment and prevention, taking determined action to advance human rights, and reaching all those populations most at risk. The report finds that countries most affected by HIV must focus on stopping new HIV infections and expanding access to antiretroviral treatment or risk the epidemic rebounding.

To access the report, go here.

Information series on sexual and reproductive health and rights by The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The series includes topics such as Abortion, Adolescents, HIV and AIDS, Violence against Women, LGBTI people, among others. For each topic, it provides the latest data, the human rights standards and the international agreements. It is a useful resource for education, advocacy etc.

To access the series, go here.

I See That It Is Possible: Building Capacity for Disability Inclusion in Gender-based Violence (GBV) Programming in Humanitarian Settings by the Women’s Refugee Commission. This report provides an examination of the barriers that prevent persons with disabilities from accessing gender-based violence programs, and practices to increase their access. The estimated 7.6 million persons with disabilities living in forced displacement face tremendous risk of gender-based violence because they are “less able to protect themselves from harm, more dependent on others for survival, less powerful and less visible.” Despite this, persons with disabilities are often excluded from programs and services designed to prevent and respond to GBV in humanitarian settings.

To access the document, go here.

Prevalence of Sexual Violence Against Children and Use of Social Services — Seven Countries, 2007–2013 by In Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 5, 2015 / 64(21);565-569. This article highlights data on global sexual violence against children collected from the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS). Results show that sexual violence against children is a significant problem in many low- and middle-income countries. At least 25 percent of females and 10 percent of males experienced any form of childhood sexual violence in the majority of the countries studied.

Read the full article in MMWR.

Girl’s Health: Unfinished Business by UNICEF. In China and India, millions of girls are “missing” because of sex-selective abortions—but the gender inequalities don’t end at birth, researchers at the University of Edinburgh explain in a UNICEF report.

The estimated 200,000 excess deaths annually among girls could largely be prevented if girls got the same medical care as boys, who are more likely to be immunized and treated for common illnesses like diarrhea and pneumonia.

To read the report, go here.

New Toolkit for Post-2015 Advocacy to Eliminate Violence Against Children by Together for Girls. This toolkit was created to inspire global influencers, country government leaders and civil society members to support Target 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which proposes to end all forms of violence against children. It explores the costs of and solutions to violence against children—and the particular vulnerability of girls—using global and national-level data.

The toolkit contains the following materials:

  • 4-minute video: National and global leaders share why they believe it’s critical to make preventing and responding to violence against children a top priority in the new global agenda. Representatives from Tanzania and Swaziland to Lao PDR and Haiti explain how their countries are taking action on this issue.
  • 4 fact sheets: These fact sheets explore why supporting and investing in Target 16.2 is vital to a sustainable future and the solutions that work to stop violence against children. A case study on Kenya’s leadership is also featured.
  • Social media graphics and messaging: Companion graphics and suggested social media messaging are included with quotes from government leaders and key data.

Visit togetherforgirls.org/SDGs to download the materials.

Sustaining Health, Rights and the Environment in the Lake Victoria Basin by Pathfinder International. Reflecting on the added value of a population, health, and environment (PHE) approach, this technical brief discusses implementation experience stemming from phase one of the Health of People and Environment-Lake Victoria Basin (HoPE-LVB) project. The project aims to reduce threats to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem degradation in the Lake Victoria Basin while simultaneously increasing access to sexual and reproductive health services.

To access the document, go here.

Coming up

International Youth Day, August 12, 2014. On December, 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that August 12th be declared International Youth Day.

Today, there are 1.8 billion young people ages 10-24 in the world. Now more than ever, with the new Sustainable Development Goals soon to be unveiled, this International Youth Day is an opportunity to bring attention to young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and demand that these be prioritized and that governments around the world must commit to investing in youth.

What can you do?

  • Host a community event to raise awareness about the importance of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Engage with coalitions or organizations working in your community to advance young people’s rights and well-being.
  • Identify and request a meeting with community leaders and/or decision-makers to inform them about the importance of investing in young people and ensuring that they have the information and services to lead healthy lives.
  • Blog on Advocates’ youth activist website, amplifyyourvoice.org, and write about why you think International Youth Day is important, how you and your peers are making a difference in your community, or what you think policy makers and leaders need to be doing to support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in your country.

To read about sexual and reproductive health and rights issues impacting young people around the world, check out these facts sheets:

Read All About It!

Malawi: Sex Education to Start in Malawi Schools. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has trained 221 secondary school teachers, 240 parents teacher associations in Malawi to teach comprehensive sex education in public schools.

Unesco says age-appropriate sex education is an important public right in the global response to HIV.

To read this article, go here.

Kenya in court after botched abortion injures raped 15-year-old. The mother of a 15-year-old rape survivor, who needs a kidney transplant following a botched backstreet abortion, filed a case against Kenya’s government on Monday for denying women and girls safe access to terminations.

The girl, who said she became pregnant when she was raped by an older man, started vomiting and bleeding heavily after an unsafe abortion.

To read this article, go here.

Rwanda Records Fertility Decline. Rwanda has continued to achieve a steady decline in fertility over the years coming down from about 6.1 children per woman to about 4.1 which is in line with the use of contraceptive methods.

This was indicated in the 5th Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda together with the Ministry of Health.

To read this article, go here.

Nigeria: UNAIDS, Lancet Raise Alarm Over New HIV Epidemic. Unless countries worst affected by Humman Immuno Virus (HIV) demonstrate determination and focus on stopping new HIV infection and increasing access to anti-retroviral drugs, the epidemic would definitely rebound. This is contained in a new report released by United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Lancet Commission, a copy which was made available to Daily Independent in Abuja, Sunday.

To read this article, go here.

WHO pre-qualifies circumcision device to prevent HIV. The World Health Organization has pre-qualified the ShangRing, a device expected to make male circumcision faster and easier for patients, offering another way to fight the spread of HIV in Africa.

Previous studies, including three conducted in Africa by the WHO, have shown that circumcision can reduce the spread of HIV by between 50 and 60 percent, which led to four years of research on devices that will help perform more of the procedures in Africa.

To read this article, go here.

Mass Protests Call Out Argentina’s Femicide Problem. Hundred of thousands took to the streets across Argentina on Wednesday, June 3, to condemn violence against women after a wave of murders, including the killing of a pregnant 14-year-old by her boyfriend. Tens of thousands took to the streets across Argentina to condemn violence against women. (@DsDiarios)

Chanting “Ni una menos” (not one less), more than 150,000 demonstrators demanded an end to gender violence and bolder government action to battle the problem.

To read this article, go here.


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