Youth ask for better access and services

The Jakarta Post, page 3

After heated debate, the first National Adolescent Summit in Yogyakarta has concluded with a declaration containing 28 recommendations including a call for wider access to reproductive health information and services including access to contraception for married and unmarried adolescents.

Petra from GenRe (The Planned Generation) Yogyakarta said all adolescent girls are at risk of unwanted pregnancy. However, due to moral and cultural reasons, they cannot access contraception and reproductive health services.

Sofyan Mukti Wijayanto, a member of the Youth Forum of Indonesian Planned Parenthood (PKBI) Yogyakarta, however, insisted that premarital sex was against Indonesian culture and religious norms.

The National Summit, which was co-organized by the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) and Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, and supported by the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency FUND (UNICEF) and Rutgers Indonesia, among other parties, aimed to involve young people in the formulation of programs and policies regarding their wellbeing.

Melinda Gates, cofounder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also attended the event, which was participated by 80 adolescent activists from 25 provinces.

Data from the Long-Medium Term National Development (RPJM) survey reveals that the nation’s adolescents are increasingly permissive of sexual behavior. In 2015, around 5 percent of unmarried Indonesian adolescents had previously had sexual intercourse and the figure has continued to rise.

The median age at which people first had sex was 20.2 years in 2015. In the same year, approximately 2.4 percent of adolescents aged 10-19 years old were married. Intervention programs are implemented by various stakeholders, including government, NGO’s and adolescent network organizations.

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