On November 15-16, 2011, at hotel “Holiday Inn” in Tbilisi, the first national conference “Development of the National Youth Policy”, organized by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia and UNICEF was held. The two-day conference was attended by 140 delegates (students, researchers, experts, donors, representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations). In the frames of the conference, participants presented priorities and recommendations for the National Youth Policy to the government sector representatives. The results of the conference will serve as bases for the youth policy document consisting of five domains: 1. Health, 2. Participation and Citizenship, 3. Poverty and Social Protection, 4. Protection, 5. Education, Work and Mobility.
Development of the National Youth Policy has been one of the priorities of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia. The above mentioned process has been accelerated in August, 2011, upon receiving additional financial support from UNICEF and consists of three stages: analyzes of existing research, programs and laws in the field of youth and consultations with various youth groups all over Georgia; development of the draft version of the policy document; approval of the final version of the policy document by the Government of Georgia. UNFPA Georgia has been actively involved in all stages of the policy development process by providing its technical inputs and applying the results of the latest surveys and publications in the field of youth to the policy document.
Being an active promoter of Youth Reproductive Health and Rights in Georgia, UNFPA provides its support to youth at the level of policy, service and awareness rising. Incorporation of the principles of the "National Concept and Curriculum on Healthy and Harmonious Education" developed through UNFPA support, within the frames of RHIYC project in the National Educational Plan, was approved by MoES in 2011. This has been a big step forward to provide a solid foundation for youth formal education on RH issues.
UNFPA Georgia has pioneered to introduce Youth-Friendly Reproductive Health Services to the country. Establishment of the network of Youth-Friendly Reproductive Health Medical-Information Centers started in 2007, in the frame of the project “Reproductive Health Initiative for Youth in the South Caucasus (RHIYC), supported by UNFPA and EU and is still expanding successfully. Currently, there are 20 Youth-Friendly Reproductive Health Medical-Information Centers all over Georgia, providing youth with free counseling, accessible diagnostic and clinical services. .
Since 2005, more than 39,000 young people were reached through Information-Education Sessions conducted by the trained peer educators at summer camps in Georgia. These sessions at summer camps are conducted in close partnership with the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia. More than 700 young people have been trained in peer education, according to UNFPA approved peer education standards.
Youth is a corporate priority for UNFPA programs in Georgia. “Youth Policy development is a priority and the subject of UNFPA advocacy. In December, 2006 the Declaration for Youth Reproductive Health and Rights has been signed by the Government of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan at the Youth Forum for the South Caucasus organized by UNFPA in Tbilisi. From 2012, UNFPA support will be focused on the development of the action plan addressing priority issues identified in the policy document” stated Mrs. Tamar Khomasuridze, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Georgia.
The First National Conference on Youth Policy