The right to Comprehensive Sexual Education

Published 8/25/2016 | Updated 8/26/2016

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Access to information about safer sex is a human right and a global political commitment adopted by UN member states. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that children and young people have the right to information that supports them to make decisions about their own health, including family planning.

Young people’s expression of sexuality should never be met with condemnation, but always with respect and openness. Comprehensive sexuality education helps young people better understand their own bodies, feelings and personal integrity. It enables them to make informed choices about sex and relationships, and counters myths and misconceptions about different forms of sexuality. It helps prevent sexual harassment, sexual violence and discrimination against LGBTI people, and people living with HIV. It also helps to counteract gender stereotypes and address masculinity norms.

Comprehensive sexuality education supports young people to respect others, and contributes to changing societal norms and practices. It also increases the demand for contraceptives and quality sexual and reproductive healthcare.

RFSU supports organisations in countries where access to sexuality education is limited. The organisations produce materials, train teachers and advocate for sexuality education to be included in policy, and then implemented. RFSU also works at national and international level to advocate for the inclusion of sexuality education in international agreements.

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