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02 July 2006

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Sex Education in the Schools

Who will provide the sexual education for Croatian children?
Who will provide the sexual education for Croatian children? OSCE
The Croatian Women Network, Iskorak and Kontra associations, set an open letter to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, on the issue of sexual education in Croatian schools.

In the letter, the signatories demand from the Ministry to review and reevaluate the sexual education programme “Human Sexuality and Quality of Living” as soon as possible, and to approve it for use in the educational system.

The programme proposes sexual education as formal, systematic and general education activity which deals with the concepts of human sexuality.

The three organizations also expressed their concern over the views of the Ministry that sex-ed will not be treated as separate subject in the curriculum, but will be integrated in the existing educational contents. They are convinced that the best solution would be a separate programme presented by experts in various fields, i.e. trained and motivated teachers.

Women Network, Iskorak and Kontra also demand that the state takes the responsibility for the education of children in public schools through selection of programme based on science, human rights and the principle of gender equality, but also a programme efficient in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy and violence in relationships.

The three organizations protest the decision of the state to de facto place the responsibility for the sexual education of children solely on the parents’ backs. Sexual education responsibilities fall primarily on the state, as confirmed by Article 29 of the Convention on Children Rights.

The letter also states that the necessity to prepare and implement a sexual education programme is listed in the National Policy Strategy for Promotion of Equality, National Youth Action Plan and National Family Policy, and that the “Human Sexuality and Quality of Living” Programme is fully compliant to these documents. Therefore, it seeks urgent reaction to of the Ministry in terms of proper evaluation of the Programme.

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