Public Youth Policies and Reproductive Rights

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Public Youth Policies and Reproductive Rights - Limitations, opportunities And Challenges in Latin America and the Carribean The aim of this work was to analyse in what ways and by what formal and informal mechanisms the countries of the region of Latin America and the Caribbean are legitimising youth and adolescents as political actors in the field of human rights and especially their reproductive rights. This study reviews four spaces where these interactions between youth, reproductive rights and public policies are processed and influence each other: • Situational diagnoses: youth surveys, studies and research; • The design and implementation of related plans and programmes; • The current legislation on youth and adolescents in the various countries of the region; and • The evaluations of youth plans and programmes processed in recent times. Case studies were also made in five countries, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Venezuela, to take into account the social meanings of the processes that gave rise to policies and programmes from the point of view of the social actors involved: young people and policy makers. The first chapter gives a conceptual framework for analysing public youth policies in the region and their interaction with reproductive rights. It reviews the analytical approaches, the roles and functions inherent to youth, the different youth sectors, the main social actors involved in youth socialisation, the construction of youth as social and political actors, their challenges, lessons learned in their social integration and the link between youth and public policies in the region. The second chapter reviews the approaches put into effect in the situational diagnoses of youth in the region, their analytical hierarchies such as gender, race/ethnic origin, socio-economic and generational inequity. The third chapter deals with the current legislation, comparing laws on childhood and adolescence with those on youth. Chapter four analyses the design of programmes, while the fifth chapter concentrates on the evaluation of programmes and policies put into effect in this field in the countries of the region, their conceptions and the cooperation they have received. Chapter six is about the case studies on the processes of building and implementing youth policies from the point of view of youth and adolescents, government officials and NGOs, aimed at understanding the various social significations that are involved in their design and implementation processes. Finally, based on the information gathered, a balance is made of institutional development in the youth field, pointing out the main reflections and recommendations for UNFPA’s articulation work in this area. The bibliographical references at the end of this report, as well as the list of websites visited, show the variety of sources consulted and eloquently demonstrate the wide range of resources available on these subjects, and it is hoped they will be of use for broadening the policy dialogues held by the UNFPA Offices in the region.


Alejandro Morlachetti, Ernesto Rodriguez, Laura Alessandro, Silvia Franco

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