Technical consultation on healthy-lifestyle education in eastern Europe and central Asia

16-18 February 2015, Istanbul, Turkey

Persistent prejudices about young people’s sexuality challenge the increasing recognition that comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education is an important component of education programmes for healthy lifestyles. Elements of such comprehensive education have been integrated in curricula across the WHO European Region, but prejudice has resulted in considerable differences in the approaches, content and scale of healthy-lifestyles education programmes between countries.

A set of internationally agreed standards and guidance has been developed to help national authorities develop and improve comprehensive programmes for sexual and reproductive health education. The guidance reflects the key principles underpinning effective policies and programmes in this area, particularly the importance of:

  • adopting a life-course approach
  • using an evidence-informed approach
  • promoting strong partnerships and intersectoral collaboration
  • adopting a rights-based approach.

Purpose and objectives

Experts from national ministries, national and international civil-society organizations, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations agencies will meet in Istanbul in February to address the following questions.

  • What is the current situation of healthy-lifestyle education in the countries of eastern Europe and central Asia? What has been achieved and what are the emerging issues (for example, school-based gender-based violence, homophobic bullying)?
  • What experience do countries have with establishing and scaling up national healthy-lifestyle education?
  • Are there programmes that holistically address young people’s sexual and reproductive health?
  • Where are the gaps in healthy-lifestyle education programmes, and what steps can be taken to expand and strengthen these programmes in line with international standards?
  • How can young people best be reached through the Internet and social-media networks to discuss their sexual and reproductive health and rights?
  • How can international organizations and aid and development partners assist countries better?