From August 9-10, 2013, 28 young activists from across Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Montevideo, Uruguay, for an Advocacy in Practice (AiP) workshop. The workshop prepared the young women and men to advocate with their governments during the First Session of the Regional Conference on Population and Development in Latin American and the Caribbean.
AiP workshops are intense, multiday events that train participants to develop leadership skills to effectively advocate for sexual and reproductive rights and health at the national and international levels. Each AiP coincides with an important regional conference or U.N. negotiation, giving participants the opportunity to take what they’ve learned and put it into immediate action.
The regional conference in Montevideo was convened by the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) from August 12-14, and served as the regional contribution to the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 Review. The negotiations during this conference marked a critical moment in the process for establishing what will be the international community’s priorities for global development for decades to come.
IWHC, along with RESURJ, DAWN and the Youth Coalition, led the training for the young participants to prepare them on how to identify and elaborate their advocacy priorities, analyze the draft outcome document that served as the starting point for negotiations, and lobby members from their country delegations to support a progressive agenda on sexual and reproductive health and rights. After the workshop ended, the activists immediately went to the U.N. conference and put their newly acquired skills to use.
And it was a success! The outcome document, called the Montevideo Consensus on Population and Development, is a progressive, groundbreaking consensus of 38 governments to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and revise restrictive laws on abortion. (Read more about the successful outcome from that meeting here.)