O3 programme Objective 3

O3 programme Objective

To support delivery of safer, healthier and inclusive schools and community environments for all young people

To ensure safe learning environments, the O3 programme supports the development and implementation of laws and policies to protect children from violence that they may encounter in and around school settings. Efforts are made to ensure that school environments are safe and supportive, complemented by curriculum and teacher training approaches that prevent violence and promote gender equality. To bring about sustainable change the programme promotes a response that fosters collaboration and partnerships between key stakeholders to complete a circle of care and support with full support from the community. Providing adolescents and young people with a safe school environment assures open conversation that enable young people to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. This will ultimately contribute in the reduction of incidences of HIV and other STIs, teenage pregnancies, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, rape, child early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. 

To contribute to the healthy development of learners and support transition to adulthood the programme helps learners understand and respond to bodily changes that occur during puberty, to develop healthy and gender-equal relationships and examine the cultural and social norms, and encourage adequate responses to violence, which may be a barrier to better health and wellbeing. 

The programme supports the review and strengthening of school re-entry policies to facilitate and welcome out-of-school children back to school without stigma or discrimination, including those who have been pregnant. 

The programme works to ensure that schools, institutions and community environments are safer, healthier and inclusive for all young people including young people with disabilities. Young persons with disabilities become sexually active and experience their sexuality as early and as often as young people without disabilities. This means that their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) needs are the same as all other young people. The fact that young people with disabilities experience increased risk of violence, negligence, sexual abuse, discrimination and denial of rights underscores the importance of ensuring their access to sexuality education and SRHR services.  Enabling young persons with disabilities to realise their SRHR, such as the delay of pregnancy and prevention of infection, in turn helps to ensure other rights are realised, such as the right to education, economic opportunities, financial independence, and social empowerment.

The Convention on the Rights of People with Disability highlights the need to provide CSE and SRHR to people with disabilities. The Convention calls for quality sexuality education catering specifically to the needs of persons with disabilities and proclaims and calls on State parties to ensure that SRHR services are accessible to, and accommodate various needs of people with disabilities. UNESCO acknowledges that young women and girls with disabilities face triple marginalization due to the intersection of gender, disability, and poverty, and require special attention particularly in the development of teaching and learning materials, and the provision of services.