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Youths finds ban on sex education violative of right to health
Hyderabad | Wednesday, Oct 31 2007 IST
 
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Strongly opposing the ban on sex education, recently opposed by 12 Indian state governments, young people attending the Fourth Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights (APCRSH) today urged governments, parliamentarians and policy makers to lift the ban as it violated their right to information, education and health. Opposing the argument that sex education was against Indian culture, moral values and ethos, they said right information on sex education would enable young people to negotiate high risk situations more effectively and reduce their vulnerability to violence, HIV and substance abuse. They urged politicians to stop doing politics on the issue of sex education as it affects the health and rights of millions of adolescents and youth of the country.

''This ban violates our right to information, right to education, right to health under the Indian Constitution and breaches India's international commitments under UN treaties and declarations,'' Youth Open Space (YOS), a coalition of youth delegates from Asia-Pacific Conference said at a resolution adopted at the Conference.

The YOS asserted that young people need comprehensive sex education so that they are empowered to make informed decisions relating to their bodies without fear, shame and guilt. Discounting the arguments based on culture or morality as presented by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, they said comprehensive sex education does not 'corrupt young minds' but the lack of information leads young people to access false, incomplete and harmful information.

''Indian government allows the young people to marry, give them the right to vote but does not allow them to have sex education, that would enable them to make informed choices,'' said Ishita Chowdhury of the Youth Parliament, an organisation of 800 youngsters working with school children of Delhi.

Sharing the positive impact of sex education in Cambodia, Marida Chheng of Laos said its introduction from ninth standard has enabled youth to talk more freely about their sexuality and also protected them from HIV/AIDS infection. The information provided in schools also encourage and enable children to have conversations about sex and sexuality with their parents.

-- (UNI) -- 31DR12.xml

 

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