Governments across the globe have failed to deliver the promises they made fifteen years ago to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people, putting the lives and wellbeing of millions at risk. Shocked by the lack of progress made, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today launches the 15andCounting campaign on social networking platforms MXit, Facebook and Twitter – urging young people around the world to call their governments to task and demand action.
2009 is the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) where 179 governments agreed on a 20-year Programme of Action to improve the sexual and reproductive health of everyone – forming a critical part of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. With only five years remaining to meet their commitments, many governments are failing to make progress against these goals, particularly in meeting the needs of young people.
Dr. Gill Greer, Director General of IPPF said “Those born in 1994, when governments all over the world made their commitment, are now 15 years old and have needs, desires and expectations that the world seems unprepared to address.
“It is completely unacceptable that the health and wellbeing of more than 1.5 billion young people is being jeopardized for want of political and financial commitment. Governments have failed to prioritise the sexual health services, education and information young people need to lead healthy, safe and empowered lives; it is critical they review the promises they made and to accelerate programmes to meet the needs of all young people.”
The 15andCounting campaign is asking people all over the world to sign the “Count Me In: Sexual Rights for All” petition to demand better access to sexual health services and education for everyone, which will be presented to the United Nations in October.
To sign the petition and find out more about the campaign visit www.15andcounting.org
15 and counting campaign uses mobile and PC social networks to engage youth:
- The leading cause of death of girls and young women (15-19 years old) globally is pregnancy and childbirth
- There are 60 million child brides world-wide, increasing to 100 million within ten years.
- Each day, some 500,000 young people, mostly young women, are infected with a Sexually Transmitted Infection (excluding HIV)
- Young people (15-24 years old) account for half of all new HIV infections worldwide
The 15andCounting campaign is being delivered on the ground in 176 countries worldwide by IPPF’s Member Associations. As well as spreading the message on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, the campaign will include the instant messaging application of MXit to encourage petition signatures via mobile for young people without internet access.