7.45. Recognizing the rights, duties and responsibilities of parents and other persons legally responsible for adolescents to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the adolescent, appropriate direction and guidance in sexual and reproductive matters, countries must ensure that the programmes and attitudes of health-care providers do not restrict the access of adolescents to appropriate services and the information they need, including on sexually transmitted diseases and sexual abuse. In doing so, and in order to, inter alia, address sexual abuse, these services must safeguard the rights of adolescents to privacy, confidentiality, respect and informed consent, respecting cultural values and religious beliefs. In this context countries should, where appropriate, remove legal, regulatory and social barriers to reproductive health information and care for adolescents.
7.46. Countries, with the support of the international community, should protect and promote the rights of adolescents to reproductive health education, information and care and greatly reduce the number of adolescent pregnancies.
7.47. Governments, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations, are urged to meet the special needs of adolescents and to establish appropriate programmes to respond to those needs. Such programmes should include support mechanisms for the education and counselling of adolescents in the areas of gender relations and equality, violence against adolescents, responsible sexual behaviour, responsible family-planning practice, family life, reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV infection and AIDS prevention. Programmes for the prevention and treatment of sexual abuse and incest and other reproductive health services should be provided. Such programmes should provide information to adolescents and make a conscious effort to strengthen positive social and cultural values. Sexually active adolescents will require special family-planning information, counselling and services, and those who become pregnant will require special support from their families and community during pregnancy and early child care. Adolescents must be fully involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of such information and services with proper regard for parental guidance and responsibilities.
7.48. Programmes should involve and train all who are in a position to provide guidance to adolescents concerning responsible sexual and reproductive behaviour, particularly parents and families, and also communities, religious institutions, schools, the mass media and peer groups. Governments and non- governmental organizations should promote programmes directed to the education of parents, with the objective of improving the interaction of parents and children to enable them to comply better with their educational duties to support the process of maturation of their children, particularly in the areas of sexual behaviour and reproductive health.
[Go to start of Document]