7.37. Support should be given to integral sexual education and services for young people with the support and guidance of their parents, and in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, that stress male responsibility for their own sexual health and fertility and that help them exercise those responsibilities. Educational efforts should begin within the family unit, in the community and in the schools at an appropriate age, but must also reach adults, in particular men, through non-formal education and a variety of community-based efforts.

7.38. In the light of the urgent need to prevent unwanted pregnancies, the rapid spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and the prevalence of sexual abuse and violence, Governments should base national policies on a better understanding of the need for responsible human sexuality and the realities of current sexual behaviour.

7.39. Active and open discussion of the need to protect women, youth and children from any abuse, including sexual abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence must be encouraged and supported by educational programmes at both national and community levels. Governments should set the necessary conditions and procedures to encourage victims to report violations of their rights. Laws addressing those concerns should be enacted where they do not exist, made explicit, strengthened and enforced, and appropriate rehabilitation services provided. Governments should also prohibit the production and the trade of child pornography.

7.40. Governments and communities should urgently take steps to stop the practice of female genital mutilation and protect women and girls from all such similar unnecessary and dangerous practices. Steps to eliminate the practice should include strong community outreach programmes involving village and religious leaders, education and counselling about its impact on girls' and women's health, and appropriate treatment and rehabilitation for girls and women who have suffered mutilation. Services should include counselling for women and men to discourage the practice.

[Go to start of Document]