(Delivered by Nancy Zhang, children, youth and adolescents constituency focal point to the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism)
First, thank you very much for opening the space for voices of CSOs to express our interest and concerns regarding young people, children and adolescents who are vulnerable in Asia and the Pacific. In Asia Pacific we are now getting the benefit of demographic evident by having highest number of youth in the region, and proper attention on youth economic, social and political rights at national and regional levels, which will be impactful to achieve 2030 agenda. We reiterate the need for a more ambitious roadmap to be jointly developed over the next 12 months and to elevate the ambition of the APFSD.
We call for:
- The recognition that children and young people are facing barriers to education, skills development and decent work, and that we must urgently address the economic and political instruments and rules, and social norms that cause these gaps on quality education, including early education, children and comprehensive sexuality education, peace, bilingual, vocational education.
- The recognition of the intersectionality of barriers to achieve human rights of children, adolescents, and young people, such as climate change, conflict, that deepens inequality and marginalisations.
- Youth-friendly healthcare services need to be emphasized. Addressing barriers to children and young people’s access to health care, particularly on sexual and reproductive health services, including primary health care irecognizing young people’s evolving capacity and removal of legal and policy barriers such as parental consent.
- Sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people and adolescents should be fulfilled. Gender inequality is a key structural violation to young women and girls’ human rights, resulting on forced and early marriages.
On regional priority action areas:
- We highlight the importance of disaggregated data and systematic analysis; and based on this, to launch the regional and national action and support young people and children living in different conditions, for example, young key population with higher risk of HIV exposure, young LGBTQI, young people with disability, out-of-school youth, young migrants, stateless, ethnic minorities and indigenous youth, and so on for sustainable development.