What is the ESA Commitment?

In 2013, under the leadership of UNAIDS and with the support of the Regional Economic Communities (EAC and SADC), the UN initiated a process that aimed to develop and implement a commitment on the needs and rights of young people. The initiative has now expanded to include core UN partners and civil society organizations from across the the ESA region.

The commitment has brought together both education and health sector, policy makers and young people to collaborate and strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights. The endorsed commitment has an accountability clause that binds the countries to deliver on certain targets in a given time period. Targets have been set for both 2015 and 2020.

We, the Ministers of Education, Health, Gender, and Youth and Senior Government Officials 

…commit ourselves to step up efforts to ensure adolescents’ and young people’s access to good quality CSE and youth-friendly SRH services in the ESA region, and to work in partnership with young people, parents, civil society, and community and religious leaders to achieve the goals set out in the 2013 ESA Commitment.
Specifically, we commit to…

Invest

In young people’s development, including strategic investment in health, education, and social protection programmes for adolescents and young people, while creating an enabling environment for CSE and SRH by harmonizing legal and policy frameworks.

Prioritise

Increased coverage and access to age-appropriate, scientifically accurate, inclusive CSE and friendly SRH services for all girls and boys to address the disturbingly low HIV and AIDS knowledge and the challenges in accessing SRH services.

Promote

Programmes that keep children in school, particularly girls in rural and poor communities, and ensure that schools are safe and equitable places for learning.

Enforce

Legislation to eradicate child marriage; strengthen child protection systems (with an emphasis on legal reform); and promote the development of programmes that strengthen norms and standards that eliminate discrimination based on gender, age, socio-economic status, or disabilities.

Ensure

That interventions and resources are well targeted and strengthen data collection mechanisms at all levels while ensuring that data is disaggregated by sex, age, economic status, and geographical location.

Step Up

Efforts to accelerate action for young people’s access to CSE and SRH services to guarantee that young people attain and enjoy full and healthy lives by 2030.