Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe start their way to countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia

WHO

Invited by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the German Federal Centre of Health Education (BZgA) in Cologne, Germany, representatives from Ministries of Health, Ministries of Education and of civil society organizations working in the field of sexual and reproductive health met in Cologne, 25–26 November, for a two -day consultation on the newly published “Standards for Sexuality Education in Europe. A framework for policy-makers, educational and health authorities and specialists” and the possibilities of their implementation, specifically in Eastern European and Central Asian countries.

The Standards were developed under the guidance of BzGA, WHO Collaborating Center and the WHO Regional Office for Europe and were officially launched in October this year. They provide step-by-step instructions and a detailed matrix to support health and education professionals in their efforts to guarantee children accurate and sensitively presented information about sexuality.

The meeting gave the opportunity to discuss sexual health of adolescents and the state of affairs of sexuality education in the respective countries. Participants analysed challenges in the national implementation of sexuality education and discussed ways to use the jointly developed Standards to improve the situation of sexuality education. All participating countries warmly welcomed the Standards and stressed the fact that they were very much needed for their work.

The countries agreed on a large number of next steps to be taken at national level to promote the Standards ranging from translation and adaption of the Standards to the revision of existing curricula, calling meetings with national stakeholders, identifying possibilities to implement pilot projects and to the development of material based on the Standards.

The Federal Centre for Health Education and the WHO Regional Office for Europe assured that they will support the implementation process in various ways, mainly by providing technical support in several ways.

Participants and organizers confirmed the importance of the meeting – the group will continue their cooperation and their fruitful exchange of their ongoing efforts to implement sexuality education on the basis of the Standards in their countries.