Take Action

Join the movement of young people working to protect our health and lives

Action Center

Take action to help ensure young people's health and rights.


Donate now

Support youth activists working for reproductive and sexual health and rights.


Sign up

Get text and email updates


November 2017 iYAN Newsletter

Advocates for Youth Newsletter


November 2017 NEWSLETTER

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’ International Youth Leadership Council Mobilizes on International Safe Abortion Day

September 28th marked International Safe Abortion Day and Advocates’ International Youth Leadership Council partnered with the #IResistWePersist Campaign to spread the word on their campuses about the importance of access to safe abortion for young women around the world and a harmful new restriction being imposed by the United States through its global health assistance funding, called the Global Gag Rule. The Global Gag Rule restricts all foreign NGOs receiving United States global health assistance funding from using any other funding that they receive to educate about abortion, refer women to abortion services, provide abortion services, or advocate for abortion.

Council members conducted an awareness photo campaigns, held workshops, and distributed fact sheets. At Georgetown University, IYLC member Kory worked with his campus’ reproductive justice organization and held a successful photo campaign, reaching many students. Check out their photos here.

Council members also recruited fellow students during these events and others to participate in a policy maker education day, which took place this month in Washington, DC. A total fourteen students from four university campuses participated in a training followed by a visit to the US Congress where they met with both Republican and Democratic offices to ask that they support a permanent end to the Global Gag Rule and also increase international family planning and reproductive health funding. As a result of their efforts, one representative agreed to support legislation that would end the Global Gag Rule—not a bad win for a day’s work of meetings by council members and their peers!

My Voice Counts

Apply for the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP)

Applications are open for Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP), which is a leadership development program that takes Filipino secondary students (ages 15-17) and adult mentors (ages 25-35) from Mindanao on a four week exchange to the United States. The program is administered by Northern Illinois University in partnership with Filipino Institute for the Promotion of Integrity & Nobility (FILIPINO, Inc.)

The program is looking for youth participants who:

  • are at least 15 years old and not more than 17 years old by April 1, 2018;

  • are in Grade 9, Grade 10, or Grade 11;

  • can speak, read, and write in English proficiently;

  • have demonstrated leadership skills and community service;

  • have good academic performance;

  • are willing to attend the program’s follow-on activities; and

  • have no previous significant travel to the U.S. on a U.S. government-sponsored program.

For more information go here . Philippine Youth Leadership Program The deadline is November 25th.

Tools You Can Use

The newly re-launched You(th) Do IT website

This website is an online knowledge and skills platform that is being re-launched by CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality and Dance4Life and provides young people worldwide with curcial information on sexual and reproductive health and rights, human rights, and advocacy. You can use the website to enrich your own knowledge and skills on human rights, sexual reproductive health and rights, meaningful youth participation, youth friendly services, advocacy, awareness raising and leadership. The site provides articles that you can read with related stories, quizzes and reflections to enhance knowledge. You can also train others using the training pack that is provided. Check out the website here.

Mass Media: Reaching audiences far and wide with messages to support healthy reproductive behaviors
By High Impact Practices in Family Planning

Mass media programming in reproductive health can influence individual behaviors by providing accurate information, building self-efficacy, and promoting attitudes and social norms that support healthy reproductive behaviors. This brief describes the evidence on and experience with mass media programming in family planning. To access the brief, go here.

A Familiar Face: Violence in the lives of children and adolescents

Staggering numbers of children are experiencing violence according to this new UNICEF report. The report uses the most current data to shed light on four specific forms of violence: violent discipline and exposure to domestic abuse during early childhood; violence at school; violent deaths among adolescents; and sexual violence in childhood and adolescence. To access the report, go here.

Responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused
By the World Health Organization

Millions of children and adolescents across the globe are subjected to sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape. Health care providers have an important role in identifying abuse and providing child or adolescent-centred care to disclosure of abuse. They also have an important role in connecting survivors to other services that they may need. For the first time, WHO has published guidelines to help (primarily) front-line healthcare providers give high-quality, compassionate, and respectful care to children and adolescents (up to age 18) who have or may have experienced sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape. To view the guidelines, go here .

The Champions Toolkit
By Save the Children

Save the Children has a long and successful history of collaborating with newborn health champions to advocate for robust policies and programs to reduce global neonatal mortality. This toolkit stems from this history and provides guidance and a set of practical tools to help program staff and others strategically partner with champions for maximum impact. Champions Toolkit (2nd Edition)

By the Johns Hopkins Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project in collaboration with The Consortium of Universities for Global Health

This is a free resource that presents the major core peer-reviewed global health journals in one place, providing authors a simple tool to discover and choose the “best fits” for their intended publication, and ultimately enhancing quality and the probability that important evidence will make its way into the literature. GHJournalSearch covers a wide range of global health topics, including reproductive health, women’s health, and maternal child health, and infectious diseases, among others. To access the resource and start searching, go here.

Read All About It!

Uganda condemns sex education for 10-year-olds as ‘morally wrong. A row has broken out in Uganda over proposals to extend sex education to 10-year-olds and give some 15-year-olds access to family planning services. The Ministry of Health has refused to endorse the guidelines, which were designed to tackle the country’s high teenage pregnancy rate, objecting that they are morally wrong and would encourage promiscuity and abortions. To read this article, go here .

Teenage girls step in to stop child marriages in West Africa. Leyla Gouzaye knew the trauma her 14-year-old niece would face when the girl was promised in marriage to an older man in their Niger village. Gouzaye herself had been married at 14 to a 34-year-old man she didn’t know, in order to pay an uncle’s debt. To read this article, go here.

When Women Rule: Kyrgyzstan’s youngest female MP puts bride kidnapping, attacks on women in spotlight. Aida Kasymalieva, Kyrgyzstan’s youngest female member of parliament, was stunned when her male colleagues walked out as she spoke at a session on women’s issues in a nation rife with domestic violence, child marriage and bride kidnappings. To read this article, go here.

This Nigerian NGO is using education to eradicate female genital mutilation. Despite a law banning the practice in 2015, female genital mutilation (FGM) is still widespread in Nigeria, with young girls who have reached puberty being cut behind closed doors, especially in rural areas. To read this article, go here.

Rape victims struggle to get legal abortions in Argentina. Rape victims have a right to abortion under Argentine law, but the nation’s Supreme Court was forced to intervene this week to ensure that a woman who says she was kidnapped, forced into prostitution and raped could end her pregnancy. To read this article, go here.

U.N. Officials Condemn Arrests of Gays in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia. United Nations officials on Friday condemned the recent mass arrests of gay and transgender people in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia, saying that the authorities in those countries had violated international law by detaining, mistreating and torturing them To read this article, go here.


International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25 and the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence through December 10th

From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.

This year, the UNiTE Campaign marks the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence under the theme, “Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls”— reflecting the core principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“Leave No One Behind: End Violence against Women and Girls” reinforces the UNiTE Campaign’s commitment to a world free from violence for all women and girls around the world, while reaching the most underserved and marginalized, including refugees, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, and populations affected by conflict and natural disasters, amongst others, first.

Share your photos, messages and videos at facebook.com/SayNO.UNiTE and twitter.com/SayNO_UNiTE using #OrangeTheWorld and #16Days. For more information about the theme, download the Action Plan.

For more information, contact Natalia Tuerogerman, natalia.tuerogerman@unwomen.org. The United Nations Official Commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women will take place on 22 November from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information, see the invitation.

This year the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University’s theme of the 2017 Campaign is “Together We Can End GBV in Education!” The theme builds on the momentum and achievements during the 2016 campaign, when over 700 organizations in 92 countries campaigned around the theme of “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Make Education Safe for All!”

Check out the action kit, which contains information about GBV in education as well as suggested actions to take during the 2017 16 Days Campaign. The action kit presents the issues and challenges faced in addressing and ending GBV in education and how to make a difference.

Please click here to download the full Take Action Kit for 2017 and for more information, go here.

No matter which campaign you choose to engage in, be sure to inform yourself and others by accessing the above tool kits and other resources like these from Advocates for Youth on gender-based violence, located here and adolescent girls, located here.

World AIDS Day, December 1

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 for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for all.

This year’s UNAIDS World AIDS Day campaign is focused on the right to health. In the lead-up to World AIDS Day, the #myrighttohealth campaign will explore the challenges people around the world face in exercising their right to health.The #myrighttohealth campaign will provide information about the right to health and what impact it has on people’s lives. It will also aim to increase the visibility around the need to achieve the full realization of the right to health by everyone, everywhere.

Almost all of the Sustainable Development Goals are linked in some way to health, so achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending the AIDS epidemic, will depend heavily on ensuring the right to health.

Check out these resources to find out more about the state of the epidemic, strategies and guidance.

UNAIDS 2017 global data

UNAIDS 2016-2021 Strategy On the Fast-Track to end AIDS

UNAIDS guidance on HIV prevention among adolescent girls and young women

Advocates’ fact sheet on HIV: Snapshot of the Global HIV Pandemic among Adolescents and Young People


Please spread the word about the iYAN!
Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too!

They can also check out the iYAN Facebook page by going here:

Was this e-mail forwarded to you? If so and you would like to subscribe to Advocates for Youth’s iYAN mailing list, please visit https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/iyan.

Sign up for Updates