Speaking at a workshop on the implementation of “Youth led initiatives on promoting access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for Vietnamese youth and adolescents” held on September 26, Tuan said the youth played a significant role in the country’s growth and they represented an increasingly large proportion of the labour force.
“However, young people still lacked vital knowledge and life-skills on safe sex and consensual relationships, facing considerable barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services,” Tuan said.
Sexual education for young people remained limited, particularly for ethnic minorities, migrants or those living in rural areas, he said.
Young people were, therefore, at risk of early and unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, Tuan said.
Six youth-led initiatives were implemented in one year in Hanoi, central Quang Binh Province, central Da Nang City and northern Hai Duong City.
The beneficiaries are high school students, female workers aged18-30, disabled youth and deaf people.
The total funds for the six initiatives are 314.9 million VND (14,100 USD).
Ritsu Nacken, UNFPA deputy representative in Vietnam, said, “The participation of young people in designing and analysing the policies that affect them is one way to ensure that the policies and services respond to their actual needs.”
Evidence showed that working in partnership with young people was an essential component of any successful youth programme, she said.
The workshop in Hanoi was organised by the HCM Youth Union via the Central Centre for Youth and Adolescent with technical support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Six youth-led initiatives were selected from a competition launched in May 2015 calling for the development of innovative and practical initiatives promoting access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for Vietnamese youth.