Policy recommendations by young people on sexual and reproductive health and rights

เสียงเยาวชน

No. of pages: 16

Publication date: December 2019

Author: UNFPA Thailand

Publisher: UNFPA

Policy recommendations from the voices of young people in Thailand nationwide on the rights to sexual and reproductive health under Section 5 of the Act for Prevention and Solution of the Adolescent Pregnancy Problem, B.E. 2559 (2016) 

In 2019, the Child and Youth Council of Thailand in partnership with Thai PBS and UNFPA Thailand mobilized up to 3,000 voices of young people nationwide on sexual and reproductive health and essential skills they need. They distributed the survey through its council members at provincial and district levels. Thai PBS gave full support in empowering the Council to design their own questions and answers in their own youth language with their youth networks in each region of Thailand. It also provided its online application called ‘C-Site’ to share questions and gather answers.   

Five issues young people identify in their voices:

1) Young people are concerned about the four main areas affecting adolescents the most - depression, accidents, drugs and teen pregnancy.

2) Young respondents are satisfied with the overall sexuality education taught in educational institutions. However, it is needed to improve the content thoroughly, taking into account the rights of sexual and reproductive health of adolescents. It should not aim only at presenting the negative effects of sex but also at increasing the capacity of the staff and teachers in counseling and keeping personal information of young people.

3) Parents' upbringing and attitude in communities are not conducive for young people to have a comprehensive sexuality education. Young people are in urgent need to develop the skills necessary for future generations.

4) Responding to the questions: If “I am pregnant” or “my lover is pregnant”, half of the youth respondents identify that their mother was the first person they would consult with. They also identify that they have the knowledge that they can give advice to a pregnant friend on what to do, especially the knowledge on rights for pregnant adolescents.

5) Half of the youth respondents are satisfied with reproductive health services in their area of ​​residence. However, the services should be more in line with the needs of young people, especially in terms of increasing communication channels, counseling and social media information suitable for adolescents as well as having more friendly access to condoms.

Policy recommendations synthesised from all gathered voices:

The Child and Youth Council of Thailand, in partnership with UNFPA, synthesized all voices into three policy recommendations. Two representatives from the Council presented them to the National Committee of the Act for Prevention and Solution of the Adolescent Pregnancy Problem, B.E. 2559 (2016). They are:

  1. Adolescents should be allowed to participate in planning and evaluation. Youth and adolescents in each area should be promoted to participate in planning and evaluation for friendly sexual and reproductive health service.
  2. Providing knowledge to youth and adolescents: Youth and adolescents need to be assured that they have essential knowledge to give advice to friends who are pregnant, particularly the knowledge on rights each young person is entitled to when she is pregnant.
  3. Pregnant adolescents must be able to continue their study.

See infographics showing all recommendations here.