Youths voice right to sexual reproductive health
Elly Burhaini Faizal, thejakartapost.com, Nusa Dua, Bali | National | Thu, November 12 2015, 6:51 PM
Youths have called for broader access to sexual and reproductive health care to make them less vulnerable to abuse, especially in the areas of sexuality, marriage and childbearing.
Bahaluddin Surya of the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association (PKBI) said many young people in areas across the country faced barriers to sexual and reproductive health information and care, putting them at a higher risk of sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted infections.
“They face stigma and discrimination, which leaves them unable to access the services they need to protect their health,” he said on the sidelines of the Indonesian Youth Camp 2015 held in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Nov.11-12.
Sixty youths from across the country attended the Indonesian Youth Camp, which was initially designed to prepare for their participation in the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) on Nov.9-12. The conference was postponed indefinitely because of last week’s eruption of Mount Barujari in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.
The young advocates attending the youth camp hailed from 27 provinces and were chosen according to strict criteria by a steering committee, which comprised seven individuals selected from across the nation. The young advocates were selected based on work they had carried out in the fields of reproductive health, sexuality and family planning.
“Although the ICFP has been postponed, all participants and organizing committee members are still enthusiastic about holding the youth camp. I hope a declaration resulting from this event can accommodate all Indonesian adolescents, no matter what their background, to get [access to] the family planning program and health care services inclusive for all Indonesians,” said Bahaluddin.
Seven youths who coordinated the Indonesian Youth Camp for ICFP were from Ayo Ubud, the PKBI, the Gay, Transgender and Men Who Have Sex with Men Network (GWL INA), the East Jakarta office of the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and the Youth Forum Papua.
The PKBI and Rutgers WPF Indonesia held the Indonesia Youth Camp 2015, with support from dance4life, the Ford Foundation, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Rutgers and Simavi.
On the first day of the camp, AA Ayu Ratna Wulandari talked about the history of family planning in Indonesia and the importance of integrating human rights in family planning. Meanwhile, Alam Setia Bakti of the PKBI headquarters in Jakarta presented his views on the importance for young people to be on the front line in the fight for inclusive family planning for all. Alexa Dominich as a community representative from CCM Indonesia talked about barriers the country faced in providing family planning services, especially to marginalized adolescents, including transgender teens.
Indonesia is projected to enter its demography dividend period in 2020-3020. During these years, the percentage of people in the productive ages of between 15 and 64 years will be 70 percent of the total population, far higher than a combined total of people aged below 15 years and above 65 years — two age groups that depend on people in the productive age group. Failure to give adolescents adequate access to sexual and reproductive health care may hamper Indonesia’s opportunities to take advantage of the demographic dividend.
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