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September 2014 iYAN Newsletter

September 2014 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?

International Youth Council Members

Advocates recruits its 2014-2015 International Youth Leadership Council. Advocates for Youth is pleased to welcome three new members to our International Youth Leadership Council (IYLC). This year’s International Youth Leadership Council members include: Allison, Angelica, Lizzy, Imani, Sohee, and Chinmayee. They attend Georgetown University, American University, University of Maryland, and the George Washington University. Members of the council serve as activists, advocates, and spokespeople on polices that affect young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world. This year, council members will engage in advocacy efforts to improve U.S. foreign policy to better serve the needs of young people in the global south and UN level advocacy to inform the ICPD Beyond 2014 and post-2015 development agenda processes. In particular, Council members will be advocating for the principles, goals and targets summarized in the Girl Declaration in order to ensure that girls’ rights are not left out of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Advocates provides technical inputs to comprehensive sexuality education curriculum materials in Lesotho and Zambia, in partnership with UNESCO and UNFPA. As part of efforts to support the development and implementation of comprehensive sexuality education in East and Southern Africa, in collaboration with UNESCO and UNFPA, Advocates has been working closely with counterparts in Lesotho to review Life Skills Education teachers’ and learners’ books to support inclusion of comprehensive sexuality education. Core to the development of the materials is the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, which provides a basic minimum package of topics and learning objectives for a sexuality education programme, by age range, located here, as well as Doug Kirby’s logic model for developing curricula to reduce adolescent sexual risk, located here. Lesotho’s next steps will include finalizing and pre-testing the materials. Meanwhile, Advocates has also provided feedback to selected teachers and learners’ books developed in Zambia, which are undergoing some revision prior to use as early as this school year. Advocates attends the International AIDS Conference. Gathered under the theme ‘Stepping up the Pace,’ Advocates for Youth, alongside over 14,000 researchers, policy makers, activist and other individuals working in the field of HIV, joined forces in Melbourne, Australia for the 2014 International AIDS Conference. Marking its 20th anniversary, AIDS2014 continued in the tradition of providing an historic opportunity for dialogue and discussion on the ongoing impact of HIV in our communities, both here and around the world. Advocates for Youth, was proud to partner with Melbourne’s Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS, in the planning and execution of Melbourne YouthForce (MYF), where over 150 passionate young leaders from 56 countries engaged in the Youth Pre-conference. MYF delegates participating in skills-building and knowledge exchange workshops which explored ways in which youth can put the health, well-being and human rights of young people at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda. While the breadth and depth of discussion was large at AIDS2014, several high-level themes emerged at this year’s conference. This year’s conference theme ‘Stepping up the Pace,’ made specific reference to the need to focus on preventing key affected populations including gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM) from becoming infected. There was an urgent call echoed for the need for legal reform as the criminalization of HIV and sexual orientations and gender identities are at a rise. The impact of laws and policies that restrict young people’s access to HIV and other sexual and reproductive health services, including age of consent laws, were also key focuses of discussion. AIDS2014 highlighted that adolescents and youth have not received sufficient attention in programming, policy or research efforts. Several panels discussed the need to consider what the ongoing medical advancements mean to end users and affected communities. In particular, there was an emphasis on the needs and complexities of adolescents with HIV and critical role that community organizations play under the ‘Treatment as Prevention’ model. To see Advocates in action, check out this post where Advocates’ staff, Ariel Cerrud, speaks briefly about his discussion on youth and social media click here.

My Voice Counts!

Engage in the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal AbortionHere are some ways you can engage in this day!

  • Join the September 28 Global Tweet-a-thon! Tweet and/or retweet at least every hour, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. your local time, about access to safe and legal abortion and #AbortionStigma. You can also tweet photos of your local September 28 action or of your selfies completing the phrase “I’m speaking out against #abortionstigma because….” Make sure to include the hashtags #Sept28 and #AbortionStigma! For sample tweets, twitter handles of decision makers, media, and International Campaign members, please download #Sept 28 Tweet-a-thon Manual.
  • Sign up for the September 28 Thunderclap. Go to http://thndr.it/VHQXFR, click SUPPORT and encourage your friends to do the same!
  • Speak out against #AbortionStigma through the September 28 Virtual Mural 2.0.
  • Endorse the September 28 Manifesto. Call on governments to ensure universal access to safe and legal abortion in the Post-2015 Agenda!
  • And for more ideas on September 28 actions, please check out this year’s SEPTEMBER 28 CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT.

Call for Abstracts! Women Deliver, a global organization advocating for the health and well-being of girls and women, will be holding a groundbreaking symposium titled Girl Power in Play during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2015. This symposium will focus on the linkages between sports and girls’ development, particularly in developing countries. The symposium is tentatively scheduled to take place in Ottawa, Canada on June 18 and 19, 2015. Women Deliver is now accepting submissions for concurrent session presentations on research around girls, sports and development; or case studies of sports-based programs affecting girls. Please note that limited funding may be available for speakers from developing countries only. Submissions will be accepted until 12pm EST Friday, November 14. All applicants will be notified by January 20, 2015. You may apply by filling out this form (and also at this link: http://bit.ly/Yf7UcH). The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) is launching the 2014 Global Men’s Health and Rights Survey -Make Yourself Count! The 2014 Global Men’s Health and Rights Survey (GMHR) is the third global survey on the health and human rights of gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) conducted by the MSMGF. The 2012 GMHR yielded more than 5,000 responses from around the world, revealing vital information about the state of homophobia, human rights, and access to health services for MSM worldwide. Like the 2012 GMHR, this year’s survey is designed to support knowledge generation, policy development, program implementation, and advocacy linked to the issues that matter most to our communities. Based on feedback from community members who participated last time, we have expanded eligibility to include transgender men who have sex with men and have added questions specific to trans men’s interests. This year’s survey also includes a new option to participate in two follow-up surveys, allowing us to document how socio-structural factors relate to men’s health and rights over time. For MSM who would like to access the survey, you can go here: English | ; Arabic | Chinese | French | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish. For further information, contact: GMHR2014@msmgf.org. Call for Proposals from Civil Society Organizations in the Middle East and North Africa to Position Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the Next Development Agenda. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Next year, 2015, is the year the successor to the Millennium Development Goals will be negotiated and adopted. The outcome of these processes will greatly impact future Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) policy, funding and programming priorities at global level and at national level. Civil society (CS) has a critical role to play in influencing government priorities and positions for the post- 2015 regional and global negotiations. To ensure that CS engagement in these processes is strong, meaningful and has impact IPPF is launching round two of a small grants facility. The facility will support CS engagement in post 2014/15 policy processes. This fund will support CSOs who are working with their governments, at country level, to develop strong positions in support of SRHR. This will enable governments to champion SRHR and population dynamics in forthcoming global policy opportunities related to the Operational review of the ICPD and all the processes that feed into the development of the post- 2015 development framework. Taking the ICPD beyond 2014, to position SRHR and the priorities of the ICPD in the next development framework, the third round of proposals are open to CSOs working at national or regional levels in the Middle East and North Africa . The maximum grant amount for all grants is $9,500. IPPF Member Associations are not eligible to apply. All grantees must provide 10% match funding. Multi- partner applications are welcome. To apply review the application guidelines and complete the relevant application form here. Submit the form and related documentation to songsfund@ippf.orgby 17:00GMT, 12 October 2014.

Read All About It!

Africa: Investing in adolescent girls for Africa’s development. Adolescence is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is also a time of change and challenge. Today’s adolescents, connected to each other like never before, can be a significant source of social progress and cultural change. But they are also facing multiple challenges that seriously impact their future. And nowhere in the world do adolescents confront as formidable barriers to their full development as in Africa To read this article, go here. Nigeria: Cervical cancer as consequence of underage marriages. Nigeria has been listed among 10 African countries with highest absolute numbers of cervical cancer, which a new report has said is a consequence of the high numbers of underage marriages. Findings from the 2014 Africa Cervical Cancer Factsheet and Scorecard of the Africa Health, Human and Social Development Information Service (Afri-Dev. Info) released on Monday shows that the high incidence, risk and mortality from cervical cancer in Africa are driven by inadequate multisectoral action by governments on interaction of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) with wide spread HIV, and poor sexual, reproductive and maternal Health. To read this article, go here. Op-ed: Countries That Criminalize Homosexuality Don’t Just Hurt Adults. I can’t help but think back to that day when Aurel walked into my office and I hardly recognized her as the girl I had come to know. She looked shabby and unkempt, and as if she had been awake all night long. Her eyes were puffy and there were streaks of dried tears along her cheeks. Before I got a chance to ask what was wrong, she broke into tears. In between the sobs and blowing her nose, all I could hear was, “I can’t continue to live this way! What did I ever do wrong? Why God, why? Why can’t I have feelings for a man as they all want me to? Why won’t anyone understand this is who I am no matter how much I try? I am tired of living my life this way! I will end it!” To read this article, go here. One in four HIV-positive women in Central America pressured to sterilize. HIV-positive women in Central America are being pressured to undergo sterilisation by prejudiced health workers and misled about the risk of the virus being transmitted to their unborn children, a study showed. A survey of 285 women living with HIV in El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua found that 23 percent of them had faced pressure from doctors and nurses to be sterilised. To read this article, go here. Sex education can help curb crime against women, children. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan may not approve of sex education in schools, but experts gathered under the aegis of the Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) felt that sex education could go a long way in reducing crimes against women and children. At a function organized by the FPAI on Wednesday, experts said the comprehensive sex education (CSE) could help youngsters resist social pressure and say no to exploitation. To read this article, go here. Health advocates urge better education to curb China’s AIDS infections. China has a relatively low prevalence of HIV positive citizens, with fewer than point-one (0.1) percent of adults infected. But the number of AIDS cases continues to rise, and health advocates blame a lack of education and prevention. The number of people with HIV in China is fairly low given the size of the population. According to official statistics, 800,000 Chinese are living with HIV, but health officials are concerned about a rise in HIV transmission, particularly among the young. To read this article go here.

Tools You Can Use

World’s Abortion Laws Map and Abortion Worldwide: 20 Years of Reform By the Center for Reproductive Rights The World’s Abortion Laws Map is a powerful tool to visually compare the legal status of abortion across the globe and advocate for greater change. Abortion Worldwide: 20 Years of Reform, is a new publication tracking changes to abortion laws since the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. Since then, more than 30 countries have liberalized their abortion laws, vastly expanding women’s right to access safe and legal abortion services. To download the map, go here. To view the interactive version of map, go here. To view the publication Abortion Worldwide: 20 Years of Reform, go here. Population Facts: Despite overall expansion in legal grounds for abortion, policies remain restrictive in many countries By the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs This policy brief summarizes changes in abortion policies and how abortion policies are associated with key reproductive health outcomes. To access this brief, go here. Compendium of Recommendations on Population and Development: Commission on Population and Development, 1994-2014 (Volume I) and the Regional Conferences on Population and Development Held in Preparation for the Review of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014 (Volume II) By the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Volume I compares recommendations emanating from the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development with the resolutions from the Commission on Population and Development since 1994. Volume II provides a compilation of recent outcome documents of five regional conferences on population and development held in preparation for the review of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014. To access Volume I, go here. To access Volume II, go here. Wallchart: Reproductive Health Policies 2014 By the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs This wallchart provides the latest available information on a number reproductive health policies and indicators for all Member, observer and non-member States. To access the wallchart, go here.         Mapping HIV Services and Policies for Adolescents By AIDSTAR-One This 108-page technical report shares the findings from a mapping activity to identify HIV policies and services for adolescents in 10 sub-Saharan African countries: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The technical report summarizes the findings and is designed to be “a resource for program planners and policymakers working to improve services and policies for HIV prevention, care, and treatment among adolescents and ALHIV (adolescents living with HIV) in sub-Saharan Africa. The report highlights service gaps, innovative approaches, areas requiring programmatic prioritization, and potential areas for integration.” The mapping exercise was conducted AIDSTAR-One with the support of the United States (U.S.) President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Click here to download the full report in PDF format. Being LGBT in Asia: The Indonesia Country Report By UNDP and USAID The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have released this first ever-comprehensive report on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Indonesia. The document calls on the Government of Indonesia to respect and protect the rights of LGBT people through existing national and international human rights mechanisms. To access the report, go here.

Coming Up

October 11: International Day of the Girl ChildOn December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child, in order to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Now more than ever it is critical to raise awareness about the rights of girls and the importance of prioritizing girls within the post-2015 development agenda. Nations around the world are developing new goals that will drive future development priorities for the next 15 years. Formerly known as the Millennium Development Goals, these newly called Sustainable Development Goals risk leaving adolescent girls behind. Nations have a responsibility to prioritize adolescent girls in this post-2015 development agenda—their right to education; to health and nutrition, including to decide if, when and whom to marry; to safety, free from physical violence, rape and exploitation; to economic security; and to citizenship. Here are some things that you can do to mobilize and take action on the International Day of the Girl!

  1. Read and share the Girl Declaration—a declaration developed by over 500 adolescent girls that lays out principles, goals and targets to advance girls’ rights and well-being. To access the Girl Declaration, go here.
  2. Reach out to community groups and organize events like skits, debates, or contests to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring girls’ rights
  3. Mobilize others to take action and advocate for changes in local, national and global level policies in support of increasing girls’ access to health and nutrition, including to decide if, when and whom to marry; to safety, free from physical violence, rape and exploitation; to economic security; and to citizenship.
  4. Contact your Ministries of Health, Education, Youth and Sports, and/or Women and ask them to prioritize girls in the post-2015 development agenda and include girls on country delegations to the United Nations.
  5. Blog on www.amplifyyourvoice.org about what the day means to you, challenges facing girls in your community, and why these are important to the post-2015 development agenda.
  6. Inform yourself and others! Check out and share these resources:

Please spread the word about the iYAN! Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too! https://www.advocatesforyouth.org/iyan They can also check out the iYAN Facebook page by going here: www.facebook.com/AdvocatesforYouthiYAN 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.

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