We, the young people of the Women Deliver Youth Working Group, representing a number of youngpeople and youth organizations from across the world, call on delegates present at the Women Deliver2010 Conference to commit to our call to action on issues affecting women, girls, and adolescents.Globally, we now have the largest generation of youth in history: more than 1.2 billion young people arebetween 10 and 19 years old. At this conference and beyond, we ask you to address young people’ssexual and reproductive health and rights as an integral part of ensuring the health and well-being of notonly individuals, but communities worldwide. The effects of policies and programs that fail to addressthe specific needs and realities of young people are long lasting and detrimental to achievinginternationally agreed upon commitments, action plans, and goals focusing on sexual and reproductivehealth and rights, maternal health, universal access to reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, and genderequality. Young people, particularly young women and adolescent girls, are disproportionately affectedby the lack of access to affordable and safe health care services, comprehensive and evidence-basedinformation and education, and a lack of autonomy in decision making in their own lives. They also faceespecially serious barriers to accessing life-saving contraceptives and family planning services.We know that complications during pregnancy or childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls aged15 to 19 in developing countries.1 Unplanned pregnancy rates continue to be high across the world, andof the 13% of maternal deaths worldwide due to unsafe abortions,2 almost half of those are aged under19.3 Young people aged 15 to 24 continue to account for nearly 40% of all new HIV infections worldwide.Marginalized young people, including young people living with HIV, men who have sex with men, girlsand adolescent girls living in poverty, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young peopleare negatively affected by services, policies, and programs that do not address their needs.The Women Deliver Youth Working Group calls on delegates at the Women Deliver Conference 2010 to: • Enable and empower young people locally, nationally, and internationally to lead as agents of change in policies and programs that affect their lives. • Implement and continuously develop comprehensive sexuality education programs and information that are accessible both in and out of school. • Ensure that young people, especially girls, have autonomy over their lives and can freely decide if and when to marry and have children. • Provide health services that are universally accessible, affordable, confidential, non-judgmental, and rights based with an emphasis on especially reaching those who are most marginalized. • Provide safe, accessible, affordable, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services. Support and develop meaningful youth participation at all levels of decision making and create dialogue between decision makers and young people to ensure better understanding and intergenerational partnerships.
• Invest in young people’s health, education, and rights to improve their capacity and opportunity to contribute to development—a critical contribution to sustainable and effective progress towards achieving internationally agreed development priorities including the Millennium Development Goals, the Programme of Action, and Key Actions for Implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Beijing Platform for Action.Signed,The Youth Working Group** Advocates for Youth, Youth Coalition, YouAct, Y-PEER, Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth,International Planned Parenthood Federation, White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, and WomenDeliver** To facilitate the participation of young people and to develop strategies for meaningful youthinvolvement during the planning and implementation of the Women Deliver conferences, the YouthWorking Group (YWG) was established as a sub-committee of the Women Deliver Advisory Group.1 UNFPA. No Woman Should Die Giving Life Factsheet.2 WHO & UNFPA. From abortion to contraception: Family planning and reproductive health in CCEE/NIS.Copenhagen, 1997.3 WHO. Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion andassociated mortality in 2003. Fifth Edition. Geneva. 2007. p.19.