Young people’s beliefs and decisions about family planning are critical to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Too often, young people face obstacles that limit their access to modern contraceptive methods of their choice. Structural, financial, political and educational barriers are but a few of the factors involved in preventing youth from exercising their right to family planning.
The Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030 and Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) emphasize the importance of increasing adolescent and youth contraception use to achieve progress toward global goals.
“Reaching adolescents and youth with the contraceptive information and services they need is a top FP2020 priority” –FP2020, The Way Ahead 2016-2017
Two key priorities of the London Summit were adolescents and expanding method choice. Of the 33 countries that made FP2020 commitments at the Summit, 32 made commitments on adolescent and youth. The 2016 ICFP in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, provided an opportunity to highlight what is needed to maximize young people’s sexual and reproductive health. What works and what doesn’t work in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health was one of the highlights during the youth plenary. During the 2013 ICFP in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, youth delegates at the conference united to create the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP), which is galvanizing young family planning supporters to raise their voice around the world. IYAFP played a major role during the 2016 ICFP and is proudly leading all youth-focused engagement and activities at this 2018 ICFP.
The ICFP in November 2018 will continue to support this burgeoning movement. Several hundred young people are expected to attend the youth pre-conference and conference, and youth will be the focus of one of the three plenary sessions, as well as a track for abstracts.