YARH aims to increase community awareness about the Maputo Protocol, including the right to abortion, reduce stigma through values clarification work, and improve young people’s access to abortion through the Mashujaa referral network.
YARH will be focused on some of the hardest to reach and most vulnerable people in the world – young people living in an active humanitarian conflict area. Empowering young people with information and access via a referral network to support those that need safe abortion is one way to promote justice and equity. Its youth-led advocacy strategies aim to actively include young people in formal SRHR decision-making processes. In addition, during the implementation of activities, YARH directly engages with women and youth, including youth-led and youth-focused organizations and ensures they play a key role in public access to quality information and services of SRHR.
In 2008, the DRC signed and ratified the Maputo Protocol, which defends women’s reproductive health and rights. In 2020, the Ministry of Health approved the standards and guidelines for comprehensive abortion care that align with the Maputo Protocol. Even though the national policy on reproductive health includes the prevention and treatment of abortion-related complications, abortion access has remained limited, and the public is not aware of the changes in policy. Moreover, abortion remains unsafe and represents up to 30 percent of the maternal mortality, sexual and gender-based violence is high, and there is stigma around young people’s SRH needs.
Youth Alliance for Reproductive Health
Democratic Republic of Congo