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Young people are sexual beings and rights-holders. Many young people, regardless of their marital status, start sex at a young age and this is a reality we must acknowledge.
Young people need accurate, timely, comprehensive information in order to make informed choices about sexual and reproductive health. Efforts need to be made to reach young people via a range of avenues, including school-based sexuality education and the media.
Young people have the right to access to modern contraception in order to implement their decisions relating to sex and pregnancy and to safeguard their health. In many places around the world, young women do not have access to modern contraception, experience unplanned pregnancies and give birth at a young age.
Young women and men have the right to be free from violence and discrimination and to have control over their own lives and bodies. In some countries, women do not always have a say over their own health care or bodies, including when they have sex. Some women accept a lower social status than men, and some men and women accept gender norms that permit men to beat their wives.
Young people are a diverse population group and their needs are just as diverse. Young people in rural settings and in lower wealth quintiles often have less access to contraception and are married at a younger age.