Youth Policy Advocacy Campaign (2009 to the present)
The campaign began in 2009 with a drafting and endorsement process that culminated in a comprehensive draft guiding a large-scale political lobbying campaign. Apart from the ten partner NGOs, several civil society groups and stakeholders were involved in this campaign that reached over 70,000 people across UP, including Ministers and young Ministers of Legislative Assembly (MLA).
In the second round of the campaign in the winter of 2010-2011, a draft of a youth policy was sent to all Uttar Pradesh legislators and to local elected leaders. Youth also met with key department officials and the governor of the state with their demands for a policy.
Y4C members continued these lobbying efforts with the help of youth from 37 districts of UP and network members. The youth leaders met key officials as well as representatives of several political parties in the run up to the 2012 State Assembly elections in UP.As a follow up to this,the youth leaders obtained endorsement from elected representatives until Dec 2012.Media events continue to build pressure for this policy.
Advocacy Campaign activities
Know Your Body Know Your Rights (2011 to present)
Know Your Body, Know Your Rights (Shareer Apna, Adhikaar Apne Raasthriya Abhiyaan) is India’s first youth-led national campaign for enabling comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). Know Your Body Know Your Rights is being coordinated by the youth-led YP Foundation in partnership with SAHAYOG in Lucknow and Akshara in Maharashtra. Participants are young people who are already working with youth in their own communities in UP on making information on issues of gender, sexuality, health and rights available to them. In Nov-Dec 2011, Y4C youth leaders ran a campaign to include sexuality education in school curricula in nine districts of U.P. Activities included road shows, candlelight vigils, meetings with youth and stakeholders, a cycle rally, debate competitions and meetings with district-level public representatives.The campaign continues in two districts,Lucknow and Jhansi in partnership with local NGO’s.
State-Level Youth Policy Advocacy Dialogue (15 September, 2011)
The main objective of this advocacy event (15th Sept 2011), held in Lucknow, was to discuss youth rights by the advocating youth policy and comprehensive sexuality education in Uttar Pradesh. Participants included: thirty youth leaders and ten community facilitators from Youth for Change partner organisation; 25 partner members from the U.P Youth Policy Advocacy Network; 23 people from Lucknow-based media outlets; seven youth representatives of youth wings of political parties; and two officers from the U.P government.
Celebrating International Youth Day through District Dialogue (12 August, 2009)
Youth for Change celebrated International Youth Day (12th August 2009) by organizing district level dialogues in 9 districts of Uttar Pradesh. Different stakeholders including teachers, health service providers, elected representatives, parents, media, and block level officials attended the event which was everywhere anchored by the youth themselves. The youth presented a summary of the findings from the Need Assessment Study on Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Uttar Pradesh. The stakeholders who were present all agreed to the findings, and acknowledged the urgency of providing health services and information to the youth. Apart from presenting the study, youth also performed street plays, puppet shows and songs on different issues. In a couple of districts, the youth took out a procession. A demand letter was faxed to Honourable Chief Minister asking for a Youth Policy in Uttar Pradesh
Sharing a study on youth in Uttar Pradesh (14 July, 2009)
On occasion of World Population Day, SAHAYOG and Youth for Change shared the findings of the needs assessment study on Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights with the media and other stakeholders on 14th July 2009. The qualitative study showed that all stakeholders interviewed in four study districts such as teachers, health service providers and parents, agreed that the youth need both information and services for their sexual and reproductive health. Parents and health service-providers feel that schools should take responsibility of giving sexuality education, while school teachers feel they really do not know enough, and require support from health staff. The study also included a quantitative baseline assessment of 1003 young people from different districts.