YouAct is the beginning of a network among young people for fighting for SRHR in Europe

Wednesday 2 June 2004 Christina Haralanova
article translations български

The YouAct Conference took place in Lisbon, Portugal between 6th and 9th of May 2004. There were more than 30 representatives from all around Europe, where GERT was presented by Christina Haralanova.

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Paintings made by the YouAct participants
Author: Anneke Wensing

The conference raised very up-to-date issues regarding the lack of youth participation in the area for protection of the sexual and reproductive rigths (SRHR) of people. It put together a number of young people to discuss about the problems in their region, and to share ideas for solving these problems.

Main topics of the YouAct conference were:
- the situation on SRHR in Portugal
- comparison of the situation in different regions in Europe
- youth participation in the area of SRHR
- fighting the opposition against SRR
- lobbying and advocacy in Europe and the European Parliament
- film called: "The Other War"

One of the main conclusions of this conference is that networking among young people is the way to combat the discrimination and the bad practices in the area of SRHR.

The beginning of a Central and Eastern (CEE) youth group has met at this conference, and the discussion brought to very interesting conclusions about the main issues who are mathiching with respect to the region. Main conclusion about the CEE region were following:

  1. No government support for SRHR issues and activism
  2. Lack of youth representation in these countries
  3. No proper education of SRR
  4. HIV/AIDS is an increasing threat for the region
  5. Lack of free contraception and promotion
  6. Lack of sufficient funding, especially coming from the government
  7. Discrimination in all conspects
  8. High rates of abortion, which is used as a way for prevention from pregnancy
  9. Abortion is mainly legal. It is either free or affordable, except in Poland, where it is very expensive and illegal.

The YouAct conference is a good beginning of a SRR network for young people, who are brought together for changing the world. The mission of the initiative is to empower young people in their SRHR by joining forces in Europe to make their voices heard.