Despite good progress in some countries, too many are failing to ensure children and young people have the knowledge and skills they need for good health and well-being, according to findings from a new UN report on comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

Too often, teachers are not prepared, students are not learning the range of topics they need to learn and misinformation undermines the development of CSE. Today, millions of children and young people still receive little information on how to manage the transition to adulthood.

The findings from the report, released by UNESCO, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and the WHO, are being released in the lead up to the Generation Equality Forum, at which UNESCO will announce a set of concrete commitments on girls’ education.

Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO, Stefania Giannini, said the findings released from The journey towards comprehensive sexuality education: Global Status Report, reveal the progress countries are making towards providing good quality school based CSE to all learners but also highlight the fact that that much more needs to be done.

UNESCO is encouraged by innovation in curriculum design, teacher training and scale-up, but equally worried by the high numbers of young people who say they aren’t getting good quality comprehensive sexuality education. CSE is central to health and well-being. It helps children and young people to take responsibility for their health and development as they grow up.

—— Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at UNESCO

In Tunisia, a national law to combat violence against women mandates education for health and sexuality; in Sweden, sexuality education is expected to promote gender equality and the equal dignity of all; and in Chile, a range of teaching and learning materials on sexuality education is being developed to support teachers. In Pakistan, strong efforts are being made to build community support for CSE and ensure programmes are responsive to local context, while in South Africa, teachers are supported with lesson plans developed from the revised UN Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education.

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