Society - Panafrica - Development - Health - Sexuality - Human rights
Sexuality: Young Africans demand fundamental human rights
African youths attending the third Africa Sexuality Conference here have asked that they be given their fundamental human rights, which include their sexuality rights. In a session entitled "Youth sexual rights, gender-based violence and poverty", youths representatives at the conference, Adiya Atuluku, Esther Agbarakwe and Martin Mary Falana, called on African governments and adults to treat young people as humans with rights that have to be met and protected.

African youths attending the third Africa Sexuality Conference here have asked that they be given their fundamental human rights, which include their sexuality rights. In a session entitled "Youth sexual rights, gender-based violence and poverty", youths representatives at the conference, Adiya Atuluku, Esther Agbarakwe and Martin Mary Falana, called on African governments and adults to treat young people as humans with rights that have to be met and protected.

Atuluku noted that despite constituting a good percentage of the population of Africa, "young people have limited access to quality information that will help them make informed sexuality choices. "We lack access to quality heath care when in need and numerous traditional practices make youths vulnerable to sexual abuse," she said.

In her own contribution, Agbarakwe enumerated the ordeals that young people face due to gender-based violence, violent acts against women, trafficking in young women and children and the wickedness of female genital cuttings, among others, on the sexuality of the African youth and asked "what can we do?"

Falana, the only male on the panel, could not hide his anger at the toll that illiteracy, poverty and government lack of commitment at addressing these youth challenges are having on the health of the future generation of Africa. "Monies spent on estacodes for politicians are enough to provide motorable roads so that our schools and hospitals can be more accessible," Falana said.

"What can we do? How can we ensure that our governments and the adult community take the rights of the youths more seriously? How can we better demand our rights? These are some of the questions asked at the conference for which answers are still expected,’’ he said.


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