It is rare for national, regional and international policies and developmental agendas to include representation from young people, despite efforts to get meaningful engagement and involvement of young people in decision making, policy formulation. But recently, new platforms have emerged, encouraging young people to take up leadership roles and help create an environment that promotes fundamental human rights for all, sustainable development and gender equality and sexual and reproductive health rights.
The Southern African Regional Students and Youth Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SARSYC- SRH) is one of these and the second edition was held at the University of Johannesburg, in South Africa, under the theme “Building a Business Case for a Solid Future through Access to Youth Sexual Rights, Health Services, and Commodities.” SAfAIDS showcased the YPLA as a sustainable SRHR leadership model implementing the 2030 Agenda (Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) and Africa Agenda 2063 (here’s a link for more on Africa Agenda 2063: https://www.au.int/web/en/agenda2063).
Most of those at the conference were young people from southern Africa, who drafted a communique to be shared at regional and international platforms such as the African Union and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), to ensure that young people’s voices are heard in regional and international development agendas.
Here is a link to the final Conference Statement/Communique http://www.sarsyc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/SARSYC-Report-2017.pdf
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