Reaffirming Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Mexico City
Last week in Mexico City, Regional Advocacy Officer Flor Hunt attended the Consultation of the Americas, “A New Culture of Health in the School Context.” The meeting brought together the Ministers of Education and other health and education experts from fifteen Latin American and Caribbean countries to exchange experiences and successful practices that address four priority areas: obesity, lack of physical activity, substance abuse, and sexual and reproductive health.
From October 16th-19th, a number of experts were called upon to present information regarding successful interventions that increase physical activity and healthy eating, prevent substance abuse, and promote comprehensive sexuality education. Flor was asked to chair a session on sexual and reproductive health, and also present findings on the success of approaches to sexuality education that are based in gender equality and human rights.
Flor’s presentation included the results of our 2011 evaluation of the implementation of the 2008 Ministerial Declaration, “Preventing through Education,” in 17 countries in the region. The Ministerial Declaration set ambitious goals to expand young people's access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. It is a key instrument to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the region, and facilitates synergy between the health and education government sectors and civil society. The 2011 evaluation highlights areas of advancement and opportunity and helps identify the places where some countries are falling behind.
The Consultation of the Americas resulted in a joint statement being issued by the participating Ministers of Education that reaffirms their commitment to implementing a rights-based approach to comprehensive sexuality education as laid out in the 2008 Ministerial Declaration.