The future young people want

The Global Youth Forum held by the United Nations Population Fund on December 4-6 in Bali, Indonesia. Photo by: Youth Policy / CC BY-NC-SA

A world where the youth can actively participate in society and has access to quality education, health services and decent work opportunities. That’s just a sneak peek into the vision youth leaders have laid out for the future of young people around the world.

This vision, which the U.N. Population Fund has pledged to support and push for at discussions for the post-2015 development agenda, was crafted by more than 600 youth leaders who attended a UNFPA-backed global forum held Dec. 4-6 in Indonesia.

Recommendations outlined on the declaration adopted at the end of the forum focused largely on what young people want governments to provide in terms of education, health care and rights. Among pertinent calls were for the inclusion of safe and legal abortion in a “basic package” of health services and protection from gender-based violence. The declaration also highlights the need to address discrimination based on sexual preferences, race or disability.

Here are a number of other proposals the youth leaders called on governments to fulfill:

  • Universal access to a high quality, affordable and comprehensive package of basic health, mental health, and sexual and reproductive health care services.

  • Universal access to free and quality education at all levels, backed by access to funds to support other needs related to education.

  • Eliminate traditional harmful practices, including early and forced marriage, forced circumcision and genital mutilation, and gender-based violence.

  • Guarantee work, social, domestic and learning environments that are free from physical, sexual and psychological abuses.

  • Ensure equal access to decent work opportunities and protection from discrimination, particularly for women, young single parents and marginalized groups.

  • Develop and strengthen a multistakeholder system of gathering and disseminating reliable and quality youth data to inform public policy and planning.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.