6.8. Countries should give high priority and attention to all dimensions of the protection, survival and development of children and youth, particularly street children and youth, and should make every effort to eliminate the adverse effects of poverty on children and youth, including malnutrition and preventable diseases. Equal educational opportunities must be ensured for boys and girls at every level.

6.9. Countries should take effective steps to address the neglect, as well as all types of exploitation and abuse, of children, adolescents and youth, such as abduction, rape and incest, pornography, trafficking, abandonment and prostitution. In particular, countries should take appropriate action to eliminate sexual abuse of children both within and outside their borders.

6.10. All countries must enact and strictly enforce laws against economic exploitation, physical and mental abuse or neglect of children in keeping with commitments made under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant United Nations instruments. Countries should provide support and rehabilitation services to those who fall victims to such abuses.

6.11. Countries should create a socio-economic environment conducive to elimination of all child marriages and other unions as a matter of urgency, and should discourage early marriage. The social responsibilities that marriage entails should be reinforced in countries' educational programmes. Governments should act against the discrimination against young pregnant women.

6.12. All countries must adopt collective measures to alleviate the suffering of children in armed conflicts and other disasters, and provide assistance for the rehabilitation of children who become victims of those conflicts and disasters.

6.13. Countries should aim to meet the needs and aspirations of youth, particularly in the areas of formal and non-formal education, training, employment opportunities, housing and health, thereby ensuring their integration and participation in all spheres of society, including participation in the political process and preparation for leadership roles.

6.14. Governments should formulate, with the active support of non- governmental organizations and the private sector, training and employment programmes. Primary importance should be given to meeting the basic needs of young people, improving their quality of life, and increasing their contribution to sustainable development.

6.15. Youth should be actively involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of development activities that have a direct impact on their daily lives. This is especially important with respect to information, education and communication activities and services reproductive and sexual, including the prevention of early pregnancies, sex education and the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Access to, as well as confidentiality and privacy of, these services, must be ensured with the support and guidance of their parents and in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition, there is a need for educational programmes in favour of life planning skills, healthy lifestyles and the active discouragement of substance abuse.

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