Outcome of the Bali Global Youth Forum of United Nations Member States, youth groups, individual youth participants, non-governmental organizations, private sector institutions and other stakeholders, as well as thousands of virtual participants.
The conference was held in Bali, Indonesia, from 4-6 December 2012 in the context of the review and follow up to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014 in order to produce recommended actions for the outcome report of the review and for the post 2015 United Nations development agenda as well as to generate a new consensus on putting youth rights at the heart of development.
The conference was preceded by extensive interaction at national and global levels on the themes of staying healthy; comprehensive education; families, youth-rights and well being, including sexuality; transition to decent work; and leadership and meaningful participation.
A dedicated web and mobile platform will provide the means for continued conversations on issues of youth rights, well being and development in order to effectively influence global and national policies and programmes that impact young people.
Final Recommendations from Thematic Session 1: Staying Healthy
Ensuring accountability, transparency and the need for implementation as a cross cutting theme across all recommendations, with special focus particularly on LGBTQI, MSM, drug users, refugees, rural populations, out-of-school, sex workers, indigenous, afro-descendant populations, migrants, young people in conflict and emergency situations, empowering young women and adolescent girls, persons with disabilities, young people living with HIV and AIDS.
Governments should develop and strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships with private sector, civil society and young people, in collecting, analyzing, using and disseminating periodic, reliable,
qualitative and quantitative output and outcomes-oriented youth health data, which is disaggregated by age (10-14, 15-19, 20-24), gender, sex and other factors and supports evidence-based policies and programmes.
Invest in building the capacity of young people to collect and validate data, ensuring youth-led and youth-friendly monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the design, planning and implementation of national policies and programmes.
Governments should work in partnership with adolescents and youth, media, religious leaders and the private sector to create enabling environments that are conducive to ensuring young people have access to comprehensive affordable health services that are free from coercion, discrimination, violence and stigma – and provide for basic needs through increased funding, improved legislation and policies, accessible and affordable services.
Governments should also ensure that young people have meaningful participation in the allocation of resources for health at the local and national levels, and the creation of policies that respect, protect and fulfill human rights.
Governments address harmful traditional practices (such as forced circumcision and genital mutilation, early and forced marriage, gender-based violence and violence against women).
International community including governments, NGOs, private sector and civil society must establish partnerships to make adolescents and youth aware of their rights to staying healthy through formal and non-formal education.
To provide non-discriminatory, non-judgmental, rights-based, age appropriate, gender-sensitive health education including youth-friendly, evidence based comprehensive sexuality education that is context specific.
Access to health services
Governments must provide, monitor and evaluate universal access to a basic package of youth-friendly health services (including mental healthcare and sexual and reproductive health services) that are high quality, integrated, equitable, comprehensive, affordable, needs and rights based, accessible, acceptable, confidential and free of stigma and discrimination for all young people.
As part of this basic package governments must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that include safe and legal abortion, maternity care, contraception, HIV and STI prevention, care, treatment and counseling to all young people.
Governments should ensure that all healthcare providers receive training on youth-specific health issues and provision of adolescent and youth-friendly services through pre-service and in-service training and professional development.
Laws and policies
Governments and UN agencies, in line with international human rights standards, should remove legal, policy and regulatory barriers that hinder the meaningful participation and empowerment of young people to exercise and claim their rights.
Governments and UN agencies should support the sexual and reproductive rights of young people including ensuring access to legal and safe abortion that is affordable, accessible and free from coercion, discrimination and stigma, providing support and protection mechanisms that promote the right to choose.
Governments should implement financially sustainable policies and legal frameworks that protect, promote and fulfill the reproductive and sexual rights of all young people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identities.
Call for governments and UN agencies to institutionalize mechanisms for youth leadership, particularly marginalized youth (as mentioned above), in the development of policies and programmes that impact young people’s lives.
Final Recommendations from Thematic Session 2: Comprehensive Education
Universal access to free education
Governments must ensure universal access to free, quality, comprehensive education at all levels in a safe and participatory environment.
Governments must adopt a rights-based approach to education, including formal, informal and non-formal education, targeting vulnerable and marginalized groups*, especially girls.
Governments should provide special, equal and equitable educational programs, including through mainstreaming extracurricular activities, for vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially young people living with disabilities.
Governments and other stakeholders need to acknowledge that learners have different learning needs, requiring different pedagogical styles. Therefore, alternative modes of learning must be valued and formally acknowledged.
Governments should enact, implement and enforce laws that enable education in an environment free from discrimination, violence, and bullying.
Governments and other stakeholders, with the active and meaningful participation of adolescents and youth, should develop and implement effective systems for appropriate curriculum development and periodic review to empower young people to gain relevant skills for employment and livelihoods, including promoting vocational educational programs and involvement of the private sector.
Call on governments to implement and monitor sustainable gender-sensitive and transformative educational programs, by establishing gender-sensitive indicators and quality education systems and infrastructure, which should include qualified staff, appropriate facilities, tools (including technology), teaching materials and methods.
Financing and partnerships
Governments must allocate sufficient funds towards achieving universal access to comprehensive education.
Governments should enact policies that facilitate investment in education by private sector partners, the international community and other stakeholders.
Young people should be involved in establishing monitoring and evaluation processes to improve and sustain consistent and quality education that is evidence-based, and ensure effective governance, transparency and accountability.
Comprehensive sexuality education
International community including governments, NGOs, private sector and civil society must establish partnerships to make adolescents and youth aware of their rights to staying healthy through formal and non-formal education.
To provide non-discriminatory, non-judgmental, rights-based, age appropriate, gender-sensitive health education including youth-friendly, evidence based comprehensive sexuality education that is context specific. [cf: “Staying Healthy”]
Governments should create enabling environments and policies to ensure that young people have access to comprehensive sexuality education, in formal and non-formal settings, through reducing barriers and allocating adequate budgets.
*Girls, LGBTQI, people living with disabilities, indigenous people, migrants, [socioeconomic status], language minorities, women, pregnant girls, people living in the context of war and humanitarian contexts, sex workers, people living with HIV/AIDS, dropouts, Afro-descendants, and displaced peoples.
Final Recommendations from Thematic Session 3: Families, Youth Rights, Well-being and Sexuality
Financing and accountability
Governments should make a political and financial commitment to ensure that sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) policies and programs are prioritized for budgetary allocation and are equally accessible for all young people.
Governments must be transparent in the implementation of policies and programs on SRHR.
Governments must fund and develop, in equal partnership with young people and health care providers, policies, laws, and programs that recognize, promote, and protect young peoples’ sexual rights as human rights. This must be developed in accordance with the principles of human rights, non-discrimination, respect, equality and inclusivity, with a gendered, multicultural and secular approach.*
Governments, together with other stakeholders, should guarantee an environment free from all forms of harmful traditional practices and psychological, physical and sexual violence, including gender based violence; violence against women; bullying in the home, school, workplace and community; sexual coercion; and female genital mutilation, amongst others. Support must be provided for victims of violence including free counseling, services and legal redress.
Cultural and religious barriers such as parental and spousal consent, and early and forced marriages, should never prevent access to family planning, safe and legal abortion, and other reproductive health services – recognizing that young people have autonomy over their own bodies, pleasures, and desires.
* With reference to the WHO working definition of sexual rights, the Yogyakarta Principles, and Sexual Rights: an IPPF Declaration.
Governments must ensure that international and national laws, regulations, and policies remove obstacles and barriers – including requirements for parental & spousal notification and consent; and age of consent for sexual and reproductive services—that infringe on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and youth.
Governments must repeal laws and regulations that permit violence and/or discrimination against young people, especially those who are marginalized, including laws that limit same-sex marriage, and criminalize YPLHIV and LGBTQI.
Governments should, with multi-stakeholder involvement, promote and implement laws, policies and programs that eliminate harmful practices such as early and forced marriage, rape, sexual and gender based violence, female genital mutilation, honor killings, and all other forms of violence against adolescent girls and young women.
Governments should decriminalize abortion, and create and implement policies and programs that ensure young women have access to safe and legal abortion, pre- and post-abortion services, without mandatory waiting periods, requirements for parental and spousal notification and/or consent or age of consent.
Sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education
Governments should ensure that every young person, including LGBTQI young people, have equal access to the full range of evidence- and rights-based, youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and comprehensive sexuality education, that is respectful of young people’s right to informed consent.
Services should be confidential, accessible, and include a full range of safe, effective, affordable methods of modern contraception and family planning services and commodities, including pre- and post-natal care, amongst others. Comprehensive sexuality education should be developed in partnership with young people and include information on sexual orientation and gender identities that is free of religious intolerance.
The concept of the family is constantly evolving and governments must recognize this by adapting legal, policy and programmatic frameworks that embrace every form of family* and ensure the right of everyone to form a family, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
* Forms of families include but are not limited to: single parenthood, same sex couples, traditional, temporarily separated, displaced, child-led/headed, divorced, cohabitating, fostered, grandparents raising children, couples without children, migrants, extended and LGBTQI.
Final Recommendations from Thematic Session 4: The right to decent work
Governments should ensure the right to decent work for young people through effective policies and programmes that generate employment, which is stable, safe, secure, non-discriminatory, and provides a decent wage and opportunities for career development.
Governments and all stakeholders should ensure the rights of young people at work are adhered to, including the right to fair hiring, and to join and organize labor unions, consistent with international conventions.
Governments, in equal partnership with the private sector and young people, with special emphasis on marginalized and vulnerable groups, should invest in building the capacities of young people, and in creating an enabling environment for young people to meaningfully participate in all stages of decision making and implementation of rights-based policies and programs on employment.
Investing in people and jobs
Governments should prioritize creation of jobs and a skilled workforce by increased investment including from the private sector through programmes that foster youth entrepreneurship and provide capacity building to young people through (job) trainings, using formal and non-formal curricula, education, vocational and employment counseling, quality paid internships, offer social protection, mentoring and expertise sharing so that young people, in particular marginalized groups, get the necessary information and skills to access decent work opportunities.
Non-discrimination, equality and gender
Governments and international community, in partnership with CSOs, should ensure equal and equitable access to decent work free from discrimination, respectful of diversity, and promoting human development for all young people, in particular young women with children and other vulnerable and marginalized groups*.
Governments should create enabling environments that provide opportunities for young people and diversified jobs that recognize and value their needs and unique skills, perspectives and contributions.
Governments should guarantee that anti-discriminatory laws and policies ensure workplace safety and protection from violence for all. Therefore, governments must update existing international conventions against discrimination to include vulnerable and marginalized groups of young people and enforce them.
Governments and the private sector must support young women’s leadership in the workforce, thereby contributing to sustainable development. They must eliminate gender disparities in all sectors and at all levels of the workforce and implement and enforce policies that address discrimination of young women in the labor market, including equal access to a range of educational and employment opportunities, with equal pay.
National policies and plans
Governments should support and protect marginalized groups by strictly adhering to ILO conventions and standards, particularly those relating to domestic workers, and provision of parental leave.
Governments, in partnership with civil society, the private sector, and employers should implement, monitor and evaluate gender-sensitive, rights- and evidence-based national youth employment policies, commit to financing programmes, and develop legal frameworks to ensure social protection mechanisms, including childcare and access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Governments should ensure legal recognition of undocumented workers including migrants, decriminalize sex work, and eliminate mandatory medical checks that are used as a basis for discrimination, especially mandatory HIV, and pregnancy testing in the general protection, respect and fulfillment of the rights of all young people to decent employment.
* Including girls, women, young people who are disabled, LGBTQI, living in rural areas, indigenous, afro-descendant, ethnic minorities, out-of-school, sex workers, domestic workers, undocumented workers, living with HIV, in conflict zones, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, living on the street, working in the informal economy, and deprived of freedom.
Final Recommendations from Thematic Session 5: Leadership and Meaningful Youth Participation
Governments must acknowledge that young people’s participation is a pre-condition for sustainable development. Young people refer to diverse groups* that are (but not limited to) Young People Living with HIV, LGBTQI, indigenous, afro-descendants, persons with disabilities, marginalized ethnicities, religious minorities, migrants that are documented and undocumented, drug users, disadvantaged economic and social groups, young parents, young women, men who have sex with men, refugees, migrants, young people in conflict and emergency situations, pregnant girls, dropouts, displaced people, language minorities, asylum seekers, living on the streets, working in the informal economy, adolescent girls, sex workers and deprived of freedom amongst others.
Participation by all young people
Governments, in equal partnership with the private sector and young people; with special emphasis on marginalized and vulnerable groups*, should invest in building the capacities of young people, and creating an enabling environment for them to meaningfully participate in all stages of decision-making and the implementation of rights-based policies and programs. Governments must ensure the right to legal protection for young people to freely express their opinion and organize.
Governments, civil society organizations and all other relevant stakeholders must ensure and monitor, in equal partnership with young people, through effective and gender-sensitive policies and resources, equal access to meaningful participation in local, national and international decision-making forums; in a safe, non-discriminatory, democratic environment, in all geographic areas, with particular attention paid to conflict and post-conflict situations, including vulnerable and marginalized groups*.
Governments should ensure that young people have meaningful participation in the allocation of resources at the local and national levels, and the creation of policies that respect, protect and fulfill their human rights.
Governments, UN and other international institutions must develop monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for existing global recommendations on youth issues including meaningful youth participation.
Young people with access to decision-making spaces must be responsible and accountable to their own organizations and their own constituencies.
Funding, empowerment and capacity building
We call on governments, civil society organizations, UN agencies, the private sector, young people and other stakeholders to strengthen, fund and empower organizations by building sustainable youth capacity for participation and leadership. Sustainable youth capacity requires access to information, resources, civic education, technical and entrepreneurial skills, to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate budgets, policies, programs and other decision making processes
Governments, UN agencies, international organizations and private institutions must invest in increasing the use of all forms of media and ICT as platforms to develop awareness and capacity building for young people.
Governments and CSOs should facilitate access to education, information, and financing of programs and the capacity building of young people.
Young people should show unity, transparency, accountability, and responsibility in their initiatives at national, regional and international levels.
Young people should take upon themselves the task of mobilizing and selecting representatives in National Youth Councils and Youth Parliaments, promoting themes (leadership, participation and volunteerism) in a manner that meets their needs and aspirations.
Spaces and levels of participation
Governments and international organizations are urged to undertake political reform to include young people in policy-making and implementation, regardless of socio-economic and cultural background, in line with international human rights standards, and should remove legal, policy and regulatory barriers that hinder the meaningful participation and empowerment of young people to exercise and claim their rights.
National and Local-Level Governments, UN agencies, international organizations and private institutions must ensure the meaningful participation of young people at all levels of policy and program development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation without discrimination, coercion, or violence and in equal partnership; support the networking of youth-led organizations and movements at the regional and global levels; and establish structures and systems that promote the civil rights of young people, such as youth councils, youth-led organizations and movements.
The United Nations should appoint a young Special Advisor on youth without delay; employ more young people; and urge member states to have youth representatives in their delegations.
National Level Governments should appoint an independent Youth Minister with an appropriate age limit; institute democratically elected youth parliaments that feed into national parliaments; institute a political representation quota with active recruitment and mentoring for young people; financially and institutionally support youth policies through youth led processes, and not as volunteers alone.
National Level Governments should ensure that the political representation of young people is proportionate to their numbers, with special focus on young women and youth belonging to vulnerable groups*.
Local Level Governments should establish and support youth councils; and provide youth councils with decision-making space within governments.
Governments and international bodies should create new and effective channels of social and political participation for civil society and youth organizations.