eu youthWith support from the International Year of Youth Strategy Partnership, YouAct today launched the European Youth Demand Change campaign, calling on European decision makers to put Youth Rights at the Heart of Development.

We are calling on MEPs to COMMIT and Put Youth at the Heart of Development by:

-Declaring that youth Sexual and Reproductive Rights are Human Rights and are a crucial first step in development;
-Acknowledging that young people with diverse sexual orientations and gender identities are entitled to all human rights;
-Increasing access to youth friendly SRH services, maternal health services, a full range of contraceptives, stigma free safe abortion services and comprehensive sexuality education that is non-discriminatory, accessible and in formal and non-formal settings;
-Ensuring universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support services for young people including harm reduction education, information & services, access to: condoms, voluntary counselling & testing;
-Involving youth, supporting youth participation and promoting Human Rights-based approaches in the development of programs that affect their lives;
-Increasing government accountability to delivering their financial and political commitments to young people;
-Investing in youth-led and youth-serving organizations and initiatives and increasing support for youth-led organizations and their involvement in the decision making processes;
-Protecting and increasing financial commitments toward policies and programs that affect young people.

A group of European young people and partner organisations have developed specific calls to action for European MEPs to COMMIT to Youth Rights, and young people can participate by sending the calls to action to MEPs via the YouAct website.

The specific calls to action for MEPs include:

-Prioritizing program investments that contribute to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and adolescent girls as central to all future EU development policy, through the 2010 EU Gender Action Plan and recognise that the achievement of gender equality is only possible through securing women’s human rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights;
-Renewing the EC’s commitments to health, development, gender equality, and poverty eradication through implementation of the ICPD s Program of Action and the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in regards to guaranteeing the SRHR of women and adolescent girls by supporting universal access to a comprehensive package of health services, information, and education;
-Ensuring that the European Parliament resolution on the Agenda for Change recognises and addresses how civil society, NGOs and in particular young people (with an emphasis on young women) in Europe and in the Global South can be actively engaged and participate in EU processes,
-Increasing finance by 5% towards Development Cooperation in particular the Investing in People Health budget line for 2013 and ensuring the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of young people are central to the Multi-Annual Financial Framework 2014-20 and budgetary amendments in subsequent annual budgetary procedures;
-Examination of the future Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) ensuring that the new DCI regulation supports and upholds the ICPD agenda and the health and rights of young people, in particular young women and adolescent girls;
-Ensuring that the Health and Rights of young people are central to any future review of the European Consensus on Development;
-Ensuring that the Agenda for Change and the Mutli-Annual Financial Framework 2014-2020 recognises that economic growth for a country does not necessarily result in increased access to health services for young people, gender equality or increase in youth employment, education and training and that 75% of the world’s poorest, made up of a majority of young people, live in middle income countries;
-Speaking out against stigma and discrimination and Human Rights violations against young people, and against movements within the EU and globally that call for policy that are detrimental to the health, human rights and well-being of young people globally.

For more information please see the European Youth Demand Change campaign page (link below)
Link: web link |