11.16. Information, education and communication efforts should raise awareness through public education campaigns on priority issues such as: safe motherhood, reproductive health and rights, maternal and child health and family planning, discrimination against and valorization of the girl child and persons with disabilities; child abuse; violence against women; male responsibility; gender equality; sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS; responsible sexual behaviour; teenage pregnancy; racism and xenophobia; ageing populations; and unsustainable consumption and production patterns. More education is needed in all societies on the implications of population- environment relationships, in order to influence behavioural change and consumer lifestyles, and to promote sustainable management of natural resources. The media should be a major instrument for expanding knowledge and motivation.

11.17. Elected representatives at all levels, the scientific community, religious, political, traditional and community leaders, non-governmental organizations, parents' associations, social workers, women's groups, the private sector, qualified communication specialists and others in influential positions should have access to information on population and sustainable development and related issues. They should promote understanding of the issues addressed in this programme of action and mobilize public opinion in support of the actions proposed.

11.18. Members of Parliament are invited to continue to promote wide awareness on issues related to population and sustainable development and to ensure the enactment of legislation necessary for effective implementation of the programme of action.

11.19. A coordinated strategic approach to information, education and communication should be adopted in order to maximize the impact of various information, education and communication activities, both modern and traditional, which may be undertaken on several fronts by various actors, and with diverse audiences. It is especially important that information, education and communication strategies be linked to, and complement, national population and development policies and strategies and a full range of services in reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health in order to enhance the use of those services and improve the quality of counselling and care.

11.20. Information, education and communication activities should rely on up- to-date research findings to determine information needs and the most effective culturally acceptable ways of reaching intended audiences. To that end, professionals experienced in the traditional and non- traditional media should be enlisted. The participation of the intended audiences in the design, implementation and monitoring of information, education and communication activities should be ensured so as to enhance the relevance and impact of those activities.

11.21. The interpersonal communication skills - in particular, motivational and counselling skills - of public, private and non-governmental organization service providers, community leaders, teachers, peer groups and others should be strengthened, whenever possible, to enhance interaction and quality assurance in the delivery of reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health services. Such communication should be free from coercion.

11.22. The tremendous potential of print, audiovisual and electronic media, including databases and networks such as the United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN), should be harnessed to disseminate technical information and to promote and strengthen understanding of the relationships between population, consumption, production and sustainable development.

11.23. Governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector should make greater and effective use of the entertainment media, including radio and television soap operas and drama, folk theatre and other traditional media to encourage public discussion of important but sometimes sensitive topics related to the implementation of this programme of action. When the entertainment media - especially dramas - are used for advocacy purposes or to promote particular lifestyles, the public should be so informed, and in each case the identity of sponsors should be indicated in an appropriate manner.

11.24. Age-appropriate education, especially for adolescents, about the issues considered in this Programme of Action should begin in the home and community and continue through all levels and channels of formal and non- formal education, taking into account the rights and responsibilities of parents and the needs of adolescents. Where such education already exists, curricula and educational materials should be reviewed, updated and broadened with a view to ensuring adequate coverage of important population-related issues and to counteract myths and misconceptions on them. Where no such education exists, appropriate curricula and materials should be developed. To ensure acceptance, effectiveness and usefulness by the community, education projects should be based on the findings of socio-cultural studies and should involve the active participation of parents and families, women, youth, elders and community leaders.

11.25. Governments should give priority to the training and retention of information, education and communication specialists, especially teachers, and of all others involved in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of information, education and communication programmes. It is necessary to train specialists who can contribute to the important conceptual and methodological development of education concerning population and related issues. Therefore, systems for professional training should be created and strengthened with specializations that prepare them to work effectively with Governments and with non-governmental organizations active in this field. In addition, there should be greater collaboration between the academic community and other entities in order to strengthen conceptual and methodological work and research in this field.

11.26. To enhance solidarity and to sustain development assistance, all countries need to be continuously informed about population and development issues. Countries should establish information mechanisms, where appropriate, to facilitate the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination, and utilization of population-related information at the national and international levels, and networks should be established or strengthened at the national, subregional, regional and global levels to promote information and experience exchange.

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