Adolescent Rights Not Protected

Kompas, page 11

Indonesian teenager rights on quality reproductive health services have not been met. Not infrequently, they are discriminated against by health workers or criminalized by law enforcement officers. As a result, teens are actually susceptible to a variety of risky sexual behavior that reduces their quality of life and well-being.

United Nations Special Reporter on the right to enjoy the highest standard of physical and mental health for everyone, Dainius Puras said, in Jakarta, Monday (3/4), that the Indonesian government was improving the health system through the provision of universal access for all communities. However, the availability of access and quality of services should be a concern.

One of the topics scrutinized was reproductive health services for adolescents and young people. To date, teens still cannot access reproductive health services to the highest standards. The condition affects their vulnerability to disease transmission of sexually transmitted infections, HIV-AIDS, to unwanted pregnancy.

Separately, staff members of Children and Youth Program Indonesian Family Planning Association, Alam Setia Bakti, added, let alone getting the right to quality reproductive health services, the adolescents’ right to obtain reproductive health information alone is still difficult. The lack of knowledge of adolescents about reproductive health is reflected in the Indonesian Demographic and Health Survey, 2012.

In the survey, only 11.4 percent of women aged 15-24 years and 10.3 percent of men aged 15-24 have comprehensive knowledge about AIDS. On the other hand, there were 2.1 per cent of women aged 15-49 and 3.1 percent of men aged 15-54 years who had sexual intercourse before the age of 15 years.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Forum for People of Faith Care for Family Welfare and Population Affairs, who is also the Chairman of the Commission for Dakwah Majelis Ulama Indonesia, Muhammad Cholil Nafis said, if religion is understood holistically, religion actually encourages its people to reproduce healthily. However, he admitted that there are still gaps in the religious knowledge of some regarding reproductive health. Therefore, religious leaders need to continue to actively convey reproductive health information.

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