ASTRA Youth members from Georgia and Russia participated with other youth activists in the advocacy training for youth voices and priorities in EECA region that took place from 24th to 26th May in Sofia, Bulgaria. During the training they had a chance to improve their capacity in the advocacy skills related to Post-2015 Agenda and ICPD. Also, participants of the training prepared advocacy messages with youth priorities: education and meaningful youth participation, which were presented to the parliamentarians during Promoting Health and Rights, Reducing Inequalities Towards Better Sexual and Reproductive Health Outcomes conference, that was held from 27th to 29th May.

During the conference ASTRA Youth members participated in the working groups focused on Sexual and Reproductive Health of key populations at higher risk of HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Youth Age. Georgian representative highlighted the issues that young people are facing in rural areas, especially such problem as access to education and SRH youth friendly services. Russian advocate was calling for the importance of providing more visibility for transgender youth population by implementing the practices of empowerment and investing in the research on this topic.

Youth advocates were fighting hard to include youth priorities and identify the main problems of youth from EECA region at the conference. We hope that parliamentarians will hear voices of young people from the different regions and include them in SRHR priorities in their countries. The conference concluded with an adoption of Sofia Declaration of Commitment, calling on governments to prioritize young people’s sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. The document is accessible here.

*Originally published on in June 2015

ASTRA Youth is one of the members of the Regional Youth Leadership Group that is engaged in the overall design and implementation of the Youth Voice Regional Campaign.