Delegates: Ms. Pansa, Mr. Koniki
33. Ms. Pansa (Suriname), speaking as a youth delegate, said that, in order to advance social development, efforts must be made to improve access to high quality education, in particular by investing in early learning initiatives. Governments must provide individuals with the opportunity to fulfil their potential by continuously improving the quality of education through academic accreditation, diversification of learning opportunities, and training of instructors; and by broadening the age range for compulsory school attendance to cover children between the ages of 4 and 16. While school attendance was currently compulsory for children in Suriname between the ages of 7 and 12, most children started school at the age of 4, and a draft law had recently been introduced that would raise the requirement to age 16.
34. Mr. Koniki (Suriname), speaking as a youth delegate, said that the incidence of sexual violence [*7*] against youth in his country could be partly attributed to the conflicting social messages conveyed to boys and girls with regard to sexual activity. While girls were taught to resist sexual advances from boys, boys were simply taught not to impregnate girls, a lesson that implied permission to pursue girls without regard for their personal and physical boundaries, which, in turn, contributed to sexual violence. Sexual education programmes aimed at young men and boys would therefore be essential for increasing awareness and shifting mentalities with respect to the unequal treatment of boys and girls. Parents and caregivers must also be educated on the issues of sexual and reproductive health and violence against women and girls. Youth had a critical role to play in advancing such change, in particular by refusing to condone or excuse sexual violence.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/72/SR.3
UN Doc.: A/C.3/72/SR.3, 3 October 2017, p. 6-7, Youth Delegate Search: https://youthdelegatesearch.org/suriname-2017/.