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November 2016 iYAN

Advocates for Youth Newsletter

November 2016 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.


What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates Presents at the Mark Palmer Forum for the Advancement of Democracy

Advocates participated on a panel as part of the Mark Palmer Forum for the Advancement of Democracy, held in Washington, DC, and organized by Freedom House. The purpose of the panel was to discuss long term strategies that move beyond emergency response to building sustainable movements for LGBTI communities. Advocates addressed the importance of intergenerational and intersectional engagement, working with communities of faith, and organizing within local contexts.

Advocates Attends UNESCO Consultation to Update the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education

Advocates attended a consultation hosted by UNESCO to inform the upcoming update of the United Nations International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education (ITGSE), published in 2009 by UNESCO with UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO. The purpose of the guidance is to assist education, health and other relevant authorities to develop and implement sexuality education materials and programs, particularly in school settings. Advocates has been using the ITGSE to inform its school-bases sexuality education programming in rural Burkina Faso and Kenya, in addition to having supported UNESCO and UNFPA with efforts to strengthen sexuality education curriculum development and teacher training in East and Southern Africa, resulting in a regional teacher training module and a set of lesson plans.

In the six years since the release of the ITGSE, the field of sexuality education has evolved and experienced dynamic shifts at the national, regional and international levels. The goal of the consultation, which brought to together approximately 60 sexuality education experts, researchers and practitioners from around the globe, was to ensure the development of a revised ITGSE that is evidence-informed, consultative and participatory among stakeholders. Results of the consultation will help inform core aspects of the updated guidance, which is hoped to be released sometime in 2017.

My Voice Counts!

You Can Still Enter the World in Your Hands Art Contest

The Coalition for Adolescent Girls and Together for Girls invite adolescents and young people around the world to submit artwork that illustrates the artists’ understanding of ‘influence.’ The contest organizers encourage interested adolescents and young people to use their creativity and talent to create a piece of art that is built around one of the following questions:

  • Who influences you in a positive way?

  • How do you want to influence others or change other people’s lives?

  • How do you use your influence, or your voice, to make the world a better, brighter place?

RULES: All individuals between the ages of 12-24 may enter. Entries can be photographs, paintings, drawings, sculpture, or poetry. For full contest rules click here.

INSTRUCTIONS: Instructions on how to photograph your art work is available here. PRIZES: The top entries will be featured in Together for Girls’ Safe Magazine and at an event at the 2017 Commission on the Status of Women.

DEADLINE: January 20, 2017 (Winners will be announced in March 2017) Click here to enter the contest! Have questions? Contact Sacha Green-Atchley, CAG Coordinator, at CAGartcontest@gmail.com

Attend the EvalYouth Virtual Conference: Building Bridges to Evaluation Practice, December 2nd, 2016 – 9:00 AM – 2:30PM GMT-5

EvalYouth is hosting a free virtual conference taking place on Dec. 2, which is focused on building bridges to evaluation practice for young and emerging evaluators. Specifically, it will bring awareness to the EvalYouth Initiative and its’ associated activities, provide an opportunity for participants to hear from experts across the globe on how to build evaluator and evaluation capacity, and facilitate knowledge development of evaluation methods. Student, beginning evaluators, experienced evaluators, and individuals representing organizations interested in building evaluator and evaluation capacity will benefit from attending this conference.

The webpage and registration are located here. The conference will occur simultaneously in English, French, and Spanish.

Apply for the Global Health Corps!

Global Health Corps (GHC) is building the next generation of global health leaders through a one-year paid fellowship program. They are looking for 156 talented young leaders from every sector for the 2017-2018 class of fellows. GHC fellows fill critical systems gaps at high-impact NGOs and government agencies in Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi and the US, working on issues ranging from malaria to nutrition, family planning to HIV/AIDS.

If you want to shape the future of global health, go here to review the requirements for application.. To apply, go here. This year’s fellowship positions will be posted on December 7, 2016. Applications are open through January 18, 2017.

Participate in this Survey to Inform the Landscape of Trans Funding Globally

If you are a group or program that works specifically and primarily on trans issues, this survey is for you! Informal or unregistered groups are encouraged to take the survey. Responses are anonymous and individual answers will be kept completely confidential. The deadline to complete the survey is December 16.

The findings of the survey will be used by donors supporting trans groups to improve their grantmaking and technical assistance, and to advocate for increased funding for trans movements. Data will also be shared with groups so they can use it for community organizing, fundraising or movement building. To view the report results of the last survey, go here.

To access the survey (which takes about 20 minutes to complete) in English, French, Spanish, Russian, or Mandarin, go here.


Tools You Can Use

The State of World Population 2016: 10 How Our Future Depends on a Girl at this Decisive Age

This report discusses how practices that harm and violate girls’ human rights, starting at age 10, prevent them from realizing their full potential as adults and ultimately from our achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The report notes that of the 125 million 10-year-olds today, 60 million are girls who are systematically disadvantaged at the global level as they move through adolescence into adulthood. The report also provides demographic data and information about 10 year old girls around the globe related to education, labor, family planning and adolescent births and discusses policy options available to governments to address the challenges that they face.

To access the report in English, Spanish, French, Russian, or Arabic, go here.

The 2016 Commonwealth Youth Development Index and Report
By the Commonwealth Secretariat

The Youth Development Index is a composite index of 18 indicators that collectively measure multi-dimensional progress on youth development in 183 countries, including 49 of the 53 Commonwealth countries. It has five domains measuring levels of education, health and well-being, employment and opportunity, political participation and civic participation for young people, ages 15-29.

To access the index and report, go here.

Health Situation in the Americas. Core Indicators

This report presents the latest health indicators for the countries and territories of the Americas. In this 2016 edition, new indicators are being introduced based on the results of a review of the core indicators within the Regional Core Health Data Initiative. The new set of metrics is grouped according to the classification proposed by WHO: health status, risk factors, service coverage, and health systems. Information on 80+ core indicators from 49 countries and territories, as well as the sub-regions of the Americas, is presented. To access the report in English, go here. In Spanish, go here.

HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women: Putting HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women on the Fast-Track and engaging men and boys

The number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa remains exceptionally high. UNAIDS, its co-sponsors and its partners — including civil society and young people themselves — consider it a top priority to accelerate HIV prevention programming among adolescent girls and young women in line with respecting, protecting and fulfilling their rights and promoting gender equality.

This guidance is meant to inform programs that aim to reduce HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women in countries where HIV incidence is high among adolescent girls and young women and where HIV is primarily spread through heterosexual transmission. The intended users of the guidance include policy-makers and program planners and implementers of HIV prevention programming, in addition to health workers and teaching staff, or any other professionals who can integrate dimensions of HIV prevention into their area of work. To access the guidance, go here.

Health Impacts of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: A Synthesis of the Evidence
By the Africa Coordinating Centre for the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and the Population Council

This report seeks to synthesize the evidence of the health impacts of FGM/C, identify recommended interventions, and compile and review existing reference materials. The report is meant to inform the development of a comprehensive set of training guidelines and materials for frontline health care providers so they can manage the care of women and girls who have undergone FGM/C, prevent the practice at the community level, and accelerate abandonment of FGM/C practices.

To access the report, go here.

How does quality of care relate to a right-based approach to family planning programs?
By the Population Council

This working paper compares definitions of quality and contrasts them with the essentials of a right-based approach to family planning. It aims to create common understanding of what these terms mean, where they overlap, and how they differ. To access the working paper, go here.

Canaries in the coal mines: An analysis of spaces for LGBTI activism in southern Africa
By The Other Foundation

To assess the depth and nature of social exclusion of LGBTI people across southern Africa and better understand how LGBTI groups are organizing to transform that reality, the Other Foundation commissioned studies of ten countries in southern Africa: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The results are summarized in this report, which describes the key commonalities, differences, and trends across the region.

To access the summary report, go here.

Coming up

World AIDS Day, December 1, 2016


Each year, December 1 marks World AIDS Day, when activists around the world come together to raise awareness of the global HIV epidemic, fight stigma and discrimination, and advocate for increased efforts to support HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care.

While there have been important declines in HIV prevalence among young people in some of the most affected countries, there are still significant gaps in prevention and treatment for young people, including adolescents. In fact, adolescents are the only age group among which AIDS-related deaths are actually increasing. AIDS-related illnesses are the second leading cause of death among adolescents aged 10–19 years globally, and the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa. Further, in 2013, there were an estimated 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV, more than 80% of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa. Many still do not know their status. Adolescent girls continue to be at disproportionate risk of HIV infection in many countries–almost two thirds of the 250, 000 new infections among 15–19 year olds in 2013 were among adolescent girls. Young people within key affected populations, including men who have sex with men, transgender women, commercial sex workers, and injecting users, also continue to be at higher risk of HIV so there is much work that remains to be done.

What are you doing for World AIDS Day? Here are some ideas and resources you might want to check out to support your activities:

1. Join the Hands Up For #HIVPrevention campaign from UNAIDS. The campaign is exploring different aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people, such as adolescent girls and young women, key populations and people living with HIV. It offers a space to express your views on what you think needs to be done to strengthen HIV prevention efforts by submitting a photograph of a word or short phrase written on the palm of your hand summarizing what is needed to strengthen HIV prevention efforts, or a short video message (maximum 30 seconds) explaining what needs to be done to reduce new HIV infections in your community. For more information about the campaign, go here.

2. Reach out to community groups and organize events like skits, debates, or contests to raise awareness of the importance of HIV/AIDS and ensuring that adolescents and all youth have the information and services that they need to prevent HIV, get tested, and get treatment and support.

3. Mobilize others to take action and advocate for changes in local or national level policies in support of comprehensive sexuality education; access to condoms, HIV testing, treatment and support; and elimination of gender-based violence, stigma, discrimination, and criminalization of people living or affected by HIV and the LGBTI community.

4. Share the resources below with friends and colleagues—spread the world about World AIDS Day and the need to prioritize adolescents and youth to end the epidemic by 2030 per the New Sustainable Development Goal 3 target:

  • The UNAIDS 2016-2021 On the Fast-Track to end AIDS Strategy, located here.

  • The UNAIDS Fast Track Commitments to end AIDS, located here.

  • UNAIDS newly released guidance on HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women: Putting HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women on the Fast-Track and engaging men and boys, located here .

  • UNAIDS and African Union’s Empower Young Women and Adolescent Girls: Fast-Tracking the End of the AIDS Epidemic in Africa, located here.

  • The 2016 Prevention Gap Report, located here.

  • Advocates’ latest global HIV and youth fact sheet, which you can access here.

Read All About It!

Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians and Ministers Adopted the New Statement of Commitment to Leave No Girls and No Women Behind. More than 50 Speakers, Members of Parliament and Ministers from 25 Asia-Pacific countries attended the “11th Women Ministers and Parliamentarians Conference” last week in Bangkok, Thailand to tackle issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region. To read this article, go here.

Child marriage persists in Vietnam’s ethnic minority communities. High levels of child marriage threaten Vietnam’s society as a whole, said Nguyen Viet Tien, Deputy Minister of Health during a conference on October 25. Vietnam’s Law on Marriage and Family sets the minimum legal age for marriage at 18 for women and 20 for men, but many members of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority communities continue to ignore the law. To read this article, go here.

Protecting men and boys’ health in Swaziland. The Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (CHAPS) leads a consortium that supports the Swaziland Ministry of Health to implement the national strategic voluntary medical male circumcision plan, which is part of the country’s efforts to keep men and boys free from HIV. The centre’s work demonstrates how voluntary medical male circumcision programmes can be an important entry point to expanded health programming for men and boys, helping to ensure they are reached with a broad spectrum of vital health messages. To read this article, go here.

In Uganda, gay men say police use torturous method to ‘prove’ homosexuality. It was early in the morning when Jackson Mukasa was awakened by the chants outside his Kampala home. “The homos are in there!” the crowd yelled, banging spoons on metal cooking pots. Mukasa, a 21-year-old gay man living in the Ugandan capital, was terrified. To read this article, go here.

Indonesia launches new campaign to end female genital mutilation: minister. Indonesia is embarking on a renewed campaign to end female genital mutilation (FGM), according to its women’s minister Yohana Yembise, despite opposition from religious leaders who have stymied past efforts to combat a practice that is common. To read this article, go here.

Chile’s President wants to ease abortion ban, but opponents push back. Just 18 and still in high school, Camila Rodriguez did not feel prepared for motherhood when she learned she was unexpectedly pregnant. She began asking around her school, hoping to find someone selling misoprostol, a pharmaceutical drug that treats stomach ulcers, but which has been banned in Chile since 2001 because it can also induce abortions. To read this article, go here.

Tanzania suspends some HIV programs for gay men, says health minister. Tanzania has suspended community-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs for gay men, the health minister said on Monday, in the latest crackdown on the high-risk group. Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzania’s minister for health said the government had received reports that some local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were promoting and normalizing same-sex relationships as part of their HIV programs. To read this article, go here.


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