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Astana, Kazakhstan, 13 August, 2018 – Changes in the bodies of young people occur very quickly. Adolescent boys and girls grow up, their bodies develop, their emotions evolve, they fall in love and perhaps, they start having sex. Speaking about their challenges and concerns is usually difficult for them, especially touching on such a sensitive topic as sexual and reproductive health.

How can young people learn about their bodies, particular changes taking place during puberty, ways of maintaining personal hygiene, contraception and other things? This is now possible thanks to a multilingual website Zanzu, available here Zanzu was created by UNFPA’s partners the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and Sensoa, the Flemish Expertise Centre for Sexual Health.

The highest rates of sexually transmitted infections worldwide are among young people aged 15 to 24.  Precisely at this age young people need access to information and education which can help them make a choice in favour of safe sexual behaviour.

In Kazakhstan a study shows that about half of young people aged 15-19 had an episodic or regular sexual intercourse. About half (41%) of sexually active adolescent boys had more than one sexual partner and were not concerned by the practice of promiscuity. The adolescent birth rate among teenage girls aged 15-19 is six times higher than in the countries of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world. International Youth Day, celebrated every year on the 12th of August, is themed this year as ““Safe Spaces for Youth”. Zanzu website is yet another safe space for young people which will make it easier and more convenient for youth to talk about reproductive health.

“We have the power—and responsibility—to help every girl and boy make a safe and healthy transition through adolescence and adulthood. Every space should be a safe space for youth—the home, the classroom, the health centre, the tables where policies and peace agreements are penned,” – said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.

All over the world, young people say: “Nothing about us, without us!” At UNFPA, we have heard, learned and taken this principle to heart. Our partnerships with young people are, and must always be, based on their active and meaningful participation,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem.

For more information please contact UNFPA Communications Specialist Dina Teltayeva at.: +7 7172 696538; +77017654010 or over e-mail