As part of the commitment, countries will scale up comprehensive sexuality education for young people. This means public schools and other institutions must cover topics such as sexuality, gender equality, HIV/STI prevention, relationships and sexual reproductive rights in an age-appropriate and accurate way.
Comprehensive sexuality education needs to be linked to accessible, affordable and effective health services and commodities for young people. This includes condoms, contraceptives, HCT, HIV/STI treatment, post abortion care, safe delivery, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and other related services.
In late 2013, under the leadership of UNAIDS and with the support of the Regional Economic Communities (EAC and SADC), the UN initiated a process that aimed to develop and implement a commitment around the needs and rights of young people. The initiative has now expanded to include core UN partners and civil society organizations from across the region.
The commitment has brought together both education and health sector, policy makers and young people: to collaborate and strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights. The endorsed commitment has an accountability clause that binds the countries to deliver on certain targets in a given time period. Targets have been set for both 2015 and 2020.
Countries under the ESA Commitment are accountable to ensure progress toward the Commitment targets. To this end, countries have been tasked to develop work plans across different sectors and partners connected to the Commitment targets. The education and health sectors alone cannot realize the outcomes. Collaboration with other sectors such as gender, youth and local government, among others will be critical. Other important partners include young people and traditional, civil and faith leaders.
Leadership from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) are critical in monitoring each country’s progress. A Regional Accountability Framework has been created. The work is supported by a technical group that is responsible for tracking the progress for commitment targets.
As part of the framework, 20 indicators were developed to monitor the progress of the commitment under the following categories: