Meeting the commitments of the ICPD Programme of Action to young people

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Some of the commitments nations have made in international agreements, notably in the ICPD Programme of Action (1994) and the resolution of the UN Committee on Population & Development (2012), to young people include: realisation of the right to education and attainment of a secondary school education; delaying marriage beyond childhood and ensuring free and full choice in marriage-related decisions; exercise of the right to health, including access to friendly health services and counselling; access to health-promoting information, including on sexual and reproductive matters; acquisition of protective assets and agency, particularly among girls and young women, and promotion of gender equitable roles and attitudes; protection from gender-based violence; and socialisation in a supportive environment. These are crucial for a successful transition to adulthood with reference to sexual and reproductive health outcomes. This paper assesses the extent to which these commitments have been realised, drawing from available studies conducted in the 2000s in developing countries. It concludes that while some progress has been made in most of these aspects, developing countries have a long way to go before they can be said to be helping their young people achieve a successful sexual and reproductive health-related transition to adulthood.