6 Dec 2012

Involving youth in discussion key to improving sexual and reproductive health in Pacific

2:42 pm on 6 December 2012

A youth worker from Solomon Islands has welcomed a recommendation out of a report on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, which encourages greater youth engagement in decision making.

The New Zealand Parliamentarians' Group on Population and Development launched the report yesterday based on a hearing that brought together a number of Pacific politicians and NGO representatives earlier this year.

The YWCA Solomon Islands' Programme Manager, Julieanne Wickham, says it's important to involve adolescents in decision making about their own sexual and reproductive health, so they can act responsibly.

She says there are a lot of unwanted pregnancies in Solomon Islands and not talking about it just ignores the problem.

"Sex is a very taboo topic, we not talk about it in the family. People know that it's happening but nobody wants to get up and talk about it in public and say we have to deal with it."

Julieanne Wickham.

Other recommendations from the report include decriminalising homosexuality and ensuring legislation and policies protect the rights of women and girls.