Connecting local responses around the world
MANOKWARI, Indonesia 24 June 2013 – UNICEF Indonesia welcomes the decision by the provincial Government of West Papua to strategically invest in its young population by developing a comprehensive youth policy – the first of its kind in Indonesia.
“West Papua is making great strides towards programming for young people, thus recognizing that adolescence as a critical time of opportunity that must not be missed,” said Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in Indonesia. “The Declaration of Commitment for Young People, issued by Governor Abraham Octavianus Atururi today is a strong acknowledgement of the decisive role young people can and must play in driving the social, cultural and economic growth of West Papua Province. Young people are the leaders of tomorrow – and they are important agents for change today.”
During a high level meeting in Manokwari, Governor Atururi and the Heads of Office of his Government agreed to support the development of a comprehensive youth policy. The policy is expected to bring sectors together, develop a coordinated plan and prioritise the youth agenda.
“The good news is that Indonesia has a National Youth Law which emphasizes the need to develop the capacities of young people,” said Angela Kearney. “However, more needs to be done to strengthen the coordination between different sectors and to ensure sufficient funding for activities.”
“The West Papua Government is leading the way towards a coordinated and comprehensive approach for young people. We encourage the provincial government to ensure that its Youth Policy is inter-sectoral in nature and dedicates full attention to elements of planning, resource allocation and the introduction of monitoring mechanisms,” said Angela Kearney. “And most importantly: Young people need to be involved when it comes to developing the details of this policy.”
Tanah Papua has a very young population with almost half of inhabitants (45 per cent) in the two provinces being younger than 18. In 2012, UNICEF supported the Government in undertaking an “Assessment of Youth Policies and Programmes in Papua and West Papua”, including surveys among young people and other stakeholder. The results confirm that adolescents and young adults in the two provinces are experiencing a range of challenges with regards to their health, education and protection as well as regarding employment.
Unlike the rest of the country, HIV has become a generalized epidemic in Tanah Papua having spread beyond certain high-risk groups, and young people are particularly affected. The prevalence among 15 to 24 year olds stands at 3 per cent. According to a 2011 study on knowledge, attitudes and practices only very few young people are aware of the risk of an HIV infection and know how to prevent it.
According to the 2012 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, 37 per cent of women aged 20 to 24 had given birth before the age of 18.
“When addressing these challenges we must involve young people directly. They have very clear ideas about what works and what they need most,” said Margaret Sheehan, Chief of the UNICEF Field Office that covers both Papua and West Papua.
“We hope, Papua province follows suit and embarks on its own Youth Policy. UNICEF stands ready to provide all support that is needed for this,” said Margaret Sheehan.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF is one of the world’s largest global procurers and deliverers of long-lasting insecticide treated nets with over 200 million nets procured between 2000 and 2012 in over 40 countries. UNICEF is also a recognized leader in monitoring and evaluation of malaria control activities and is focusing on improving data quality in country. As a lead procurer of medicines and life-saving commodities for children, UNICEF is using its market shaping power to ensure increased access and affordability.
For more information about UNICEF’s work globally, visit: www.unicef.org
You find information on UNICEF’s work in Indonesia at: www.unicef.org/indonesia
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