First National Adolescents Summit to kick off in Yogyakarta

The National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN) and the Johns Hopkins’ Center for Communication Program (JHUCCP) Indonesia are set to organize the National Adolescents Summit at the Hyatt Hotel Yogyakarta from March 21 to March 23.

The event will bring together academics, experts, international agencies, civil society groups and hundreds of young people from across Indonesia to comprehensively discuss ways to enhance access to quality information on reproductive health for adolescents in a bid to curb teen pregnancy and birth rates among adolescents.

“The meeting aims to invite all parties to join hands in implementing adolescent programs,” said Fitri Putjuk, one of the executives of the organizing committee. “Currently, there are so many programs for youth but they are implemented  separately by different parties, each with its own target.”

Putjuk, who is also the country representative for JHUCCP, said the outcome of the summit was expected to be a comprehensive program involving all stakeholders, including the government, donor agencies, UN agencies, civil society organizations and adolescent groups.

A number of influential figures, including Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Chandra-Mouli from the WHO, are listed as speakers in the first ever National Adolescents Summit.

Data from the Long-Medium Term National Development (RPJM) Survey indicates that access for adolescents to reproductive health information is still low, with no significant improvement between the years 2002-2015. Furthermore, less than 50 percent of adolescents receive information regarding pregnancy and birth issues, such as Family Planning, pregnancy prevention and contraception.

The data also says that adolescents are increasingly permissive in their sexual behavior. In 2015, around 5 percent of unmarried adolescents had had sexual intercourse. About 0.1 to 0.4 percent of boys and girls had their first experience of sexual intercourse when they were 15-17 years old.