This is an excerpt from a Pathfinder International News story; the original piece is available here.

UNFPA recently published its latest State of the World’s Population. The report details some of the paradoxes faced in a world that now has among the largest elderly and youth populations in history. As the world approaches 7 billion people, it becomes even more important to invest in universal access to family planning and to ensure adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive rights. “Nearly half the world’s population is under the age of 25—yet their needs are going unmet and their rights are going unfulfilled,” Callie Simon, Pathfinder’s Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor said. “Around the world, we see young girls married, having children, and leaving school—that can have a devastating impact on their health, well-being, and their futures. We have to ensure young people have a voice and that we listen to their needs and support them in making healthy decisions about their sexual and reproductive lives.”

 The UNFPA report rightly states that young people have “hope, ambition and commitment to improve their own lives and those of their peers, neighbors, communities, and countries. Their success, however, will depend on their ability to take advantage of educational and economic opportunities as they arise and to overcome obstacles to their sexual and reproductive rights.”

“If we can meet the needs of young people, we can shape the course of the future of our world,” Daniel E. Pellegrom, President of Pathfinder, said. “Add to that universal access to contraception—for all people in their reproductive years, including adolescents—and we have a positive path then paved for our collective future.”

For more information about Pathfinder’s approach to adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, please visit: www.3BillionReasons.org

For more information on youth sexual and reproductive health research, programs, and materials, visit www.IYWG.org, sign-up for youth InfoNet, or follow us on twitter @IYWG.

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