Boys, girls, adolescents and young people

Boys, girls, adolescents and young people
Guarantee for all boys, girls, adolescents and young people, without any form of discrimination, the chance to live a life free from poverty and violence, and to enjoy protection and exercise of their human rights, a range of opportunities and access to health, education and social protection.
Priority measure number


This is a multidimensional priority measure targeting many and varied aspects that by definition apply to the reference age group (boys, girls, adolescents and young people), such as: (i) escape or avoid poverty; (ii) live free from violence; (iii) live free of discrimination; (iv) receive protection; (v) exercise human rights; (vi) have options; and (vii) have access to health care, education, decent work and social protection. Most of these objectives are expressed in a very general way, which makes specific and concrete monitoring difficult. Given this diversity of objectives and their generality, this priority measure can perhaps best be fulfilled by implementing other international instruments and other priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development.

Related instruments, forums and mechanisms

Among the relevant international instruments are: (i) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (various articles of which are taken up in later priority measures); (ii) the Convention on the Rights of the Child (various articles of which are taken up in later priority measures); (iii) the Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth (various articles of which are taken up in later priority measures); (iv) the United Nations System-wide Action Plan on Youth (Youth SWAP), which focuses on five areas: employment and entrepreneurship; protection of rights and civic engagement; political inclusion; education, including comprehensive sexuality education; and health; (v) some targets of the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goals 1, 2 and 4; and (vi) the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals 1, 3, 4, 5, 10 and 16, and the following targets: target 1.1 (“By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day”); target 3.2 (“By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and under-five children”); target 3.7 (“By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes”); target 4.1 (“By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”); target 4.2 (“By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education”); target 4.3 (“By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university”); target 5.2 (“Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”); target 8.6 (“By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training”); target 10.4 (“Adopt policies, especially fiscal, wage and social protection policies and progressively achieve greater equality”); and target 16.2 (“End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children”).

Among the priority measures of the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development that contribute to implementing priority measure 7 are: priority measure 9 on investment, with the emphasis on education; priority measure 10 on employment opportunities; priority measure 13 that includes several relevant lines of action, including one (number 2), which proposes the provision of comprehensive oversight and support systems for adolescent mothers, as well as real incentives for remaining in school; and priority measure 16 on violence prevention, harmonious coexistence and access to justice.

The aspects referring to exercise of rights and range of opportunities are very general, but they can be considered achievable with implementation of all the priority measures relating to rights and opportunities that apply to this group. With respect to oversight bodies and mechanisms, the most important are those that have binding systems of accountability, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for which the Committee on the Rights of the Child has been operating since 1991 and in which 191 of the 194 Member States of the United Nations participate. As well, UNICEF has key input to offer in this area, and should play a leading role in promoting and monitoring this priority measure, particularly as it relates to children. The same holds for the Ibero-American Youth Organization (OIJ) with respect to this priority measure and its application and follow-up in the case of adolescents and young people

Girls, boys, adolescents and youth