O3 programme Objective 1

O3 programme Objective

To secure and sustain strong political commitment and support for adolescents and young people’s access to CSE and SRH services across SSA

The O3 programme sustains political commitment and advocacy for comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) through advancing the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Ministerial Commitment and the West and Central Africa (WCA) commitment that is under development. In the ESA region, the commitment has been an important catalyst for scaling up CSE delivery and sustaining the momentum. The programme continues to support ESA countries to deliver quality and effective programs that accelerate progress towards attainment of ESA commitment 2020 targets, while WCA countries are supported to build up the momentum towards developing a regional commitment on CSE. 

To ensure full support for adolescent and young people’s access to CSE and SRH services there is an urgent need to engage with and address the concerns of key gatekeepers at the community level, in order to garner their support in the creation of an enabling and supportive environment. UNESCO recognizes the importance of involving parents, religious leaders, traditional leaders, young people and the community; as this can increase understanding and support for CSE and youth friendly services. Well planned communication between schools and parents and between the ministry of education and community through the media, parents meetings or public meetings can be a useful tool to build support and ensure coherence between the messages and attitudes taught in school and what young people learn from home and elsewhere. UNESCO builds on its expertise in education, culture and communication, as well as lessons learned from successful actions to engagement and support parents, key opinion leaders and the community, to ensure that the programme addresses harmful, attitudes, behaviours while engaging men as key partners in community programmes.

Children and young people have a fundamental human right to participate in matters that affect their lives. Meaningful involvement of children and young people entails seeking information, expressing ideas, taking an active role in different steps of a process, being informed or consulted on decisions concerning public interest, analyzing situations, and making personal choices. It is generally assumed that more meaningful participation will result in better-developed interventions to promote adolescent SRHR. In promoting meaningful involvement of young people, special attention is  paid to particular vulnerable groups of young people who are often side-lined, or face stigma and discrimination, and violence including bullying. Such young key populations, include but are not limited to, young people living with HIV, and young people with disabilities.