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Improving children's sexual and reproductive health and knowledge

Many young people are not aware of their sexual and reproductive health rights, and don’t have access to the right information to make informed decisions in this critical aspect of their lives. Parents, caregivers and schools do not always carry out their responsibilities to provide children and young people with the information and support they need through the different phases of their developing sexuality. This is due to a wide range of factors such as lack of awareness and skills, power imbalances, lack of resources and other deep-rooted systemic inequalities. Gaining awareness and access is critical in children's and young people's efforts to claim their rights and determine their futures.

Our work in this area is heavily focused on collaborating with young people and their communities to promote informed and practical initiatives, both within schools and beyond and to learn about their rights. This extends to supporting young people’s organisations to advocate for better sexual health services and to actively involve them in improving the services they are entitled to.

Case study: Family planning project

Plan International UK is partner in a UK-government Department for International Development-funded project to increase monitoring and accountability at the national and local level for sexual reproductive health rights and family planning. The project is part of an initiative to realise the commitments of the global Family Planning 2020 partnership (FP2020) that supports the rights of women and girls to decide, freely and for themselves whether, when, and how many children they want to have.

Implemented in 10 countries, this project facilitates the empowerment of women and girls to engage with power holders and duty bearers to advocate for full, free and equitable access to family planning services, and to hold their governments and service providers to account to deliver on their FP2020 commitments.

The project is being managed by a consortium of member organisations, led by Christian Aid, and including Media Focus on Africa, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Plan International is implementing the project in 5 of the 10 consortium countries (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Mali, Nepal and Niger), working with national platforms in each country, including civil society organisations.

Over the course of the programme, ownership and responsibility for implementation of the project will gradually be transferred to a key national partner working locally in each country, who will take a lead role in mobilising civil society and working with local communities.

Bolivia Sexual and Reproductive Rights
Girls learning about their sexual and reproductive rights