Comprehensive Sexuality Education

1. Context and background

2. Terminology

3. Laws and policies

4. Governance

5. Monitoring and reporting


1. Context and background

Indonesia is a country with a significant proportion of its young population under the age of 24. The country is culturally conservative, with high levels of religious observance. Islam is the most widely followed religion. Education on sexual rights and reproductive health is generally not well received in the community and the current programme faces opposition from many anti-feminist groups. Studies have shown that most Indonesian parents do not talk to their children about sexuality and reproductive health. There are high prevalences of early pregnancies and child marriage in the country. Additionally, many girls experience some form of violence at home. According to the 2017 Indonesia Demographic and Health Survey, knowledge of contraceptives is almost universal in the country. Some knowledge of HIV and STIs is common among young people, although it is more advanced and precise among higher education students. There seems to be a lack of accurate information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH), such as the length of women’s reproductive potential. Since 2013, schools in Indonesia have taught limited aspects of reproductive health, incorporated into core subjects.


2. Terminology

 According to the Indonesian Health Law No. 36/2009, 'sexuality' refers to 'the total aspect of human life associated with the genitals'. 'Reproductive health' is 'a state of physical, mental and social well-being as a whole, which is not solely free from disease or disability, relating to the reproductive system, as well as its functions and processes. 

The Handbook for the Implementation of Reproductive Health in Elementary Schools defines reproductive health education in schools as a 'teaching process and curriculum-based learning that includes cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of reproductive health'. 


3. Laws and policies

3.1. Relevant international/regional agreements to which the Indonesia is a signatory



Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 

Ratification date: 1984 

Acknowledges the need to guarantee sexuality education free from discrimination and stereotypes, conveying gender equality values. 

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 

Ratification date: 1990 

Commits to the right to access appropriate health-related information. 

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) 

Ratification date: 2011 

Commits to the highest attainable standard of health for persons with disabilities. 

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 

Accession date: 2006 

Acknowledges that the right to sexual and reproductive health is an integral part of the right to health. 

UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education 

Ratification date: 1967 

Reaffirms that education is a human right. It highlights states' obligations to ensure free and compulsory education, bans any form of discrimination and promotes equality of educational opportunity.

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action 


Calls for sexuality education, counselling and support mechanisms for adolescents, and identifies essential topics. 

UN General Assembly 2016 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS 


Includes commitments and calls to scale up and/or attention to scientifically accurate age- and culturally-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education. 

Commission on the Status of Women 2016 Resolution on Women, the Girl Child and HIV and AIDS 


Includes commitments to make universally accessible and available quality comprehensive sexual and reproductive health-care services, commodities, information and education. 



The Asia and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development (2013) (Asia Pacific) 

The country voted positive  

Commits to the design, funding and implementation of ‘comprehensive sexuality education and life skills’ programmes that ‘provide accurate information on human sexuality, gender equality, human rights, relationships, and sexual and reproductive health, while recognizing the role and responsibilities of parents. 


3.2. Relevant national laws and policies mandating comprehensive sexuality education

In 2012, the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) started to advocate for the adoption of a Sexual Violence Bill, preparing a draft in 2014. After going through numerous administrative processes the Bill was eventually included as one of the People's Representative Council’s Priority National Legislation (Prolegnas) programmes. The Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence (Rancangan Undang-Undang Tindak Pidana Kekerasan Seksual) was finally ratified in 2022. Apart from defining sexual violence, the Law seeks to prevent all forms of sexual violence and to treat and protect victims and aid them in their recovery. Among the prevention mechanisms are materials for the elimination of sexual violence as teaching materials in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities from early childhood education through to higher education. The Law also aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of educators at all education levels on the subject of the elimination of sexual violence. 

In 2019, the National Commission on Violence against Women launched the Strategic Plan on Preventing and Combating All Forms of Violence against Women (2020-2024), which refers to the integration of gender-based human rights into inclusive education lesson plans. The Plan also seeks to formulate guidelines for setting standards and measuring tools for preventing violence against women across sectors, including educational and business institutions.  

Law No. 36/2009 on Health stipulates that every individual shall have the right to a healthy and safe reproductive life and sexual life without any coercion and/or violence. Individuals also have the right to obtain information, education and counselling regarding proper and accountable reproductive health care. The Law was followed by the Government Regulation No. 61/2014 on Reproductive Health, which specifically states that the formal education system needs to deliver sexuality education. It also obligates the central government and provincial and district/city governments to organize adolescent reproductive health care services. iIn the current draft of the school health regulation, reproductive health is stated as a mandatory subject within the field of health education. 

In the CEDAW eighth periodic report submitted by Indonesia i(2019), the country highlights different measures for achieving sexuality education in the population. These include improving education and health services by facilitating access to education, especially for women, and increasing access to reproductive health care. The country also launched the Family Planning Programme, which increases awareness and education in family planning by optimizing the use of information and communication technology, improving communities’ access to family planning services, and providing affordable and free treatment on family planning for married couples. According to the report, Indonesia is continuing to improve the supply and distribution of contraceptive devices and medicine, the provision of medical contraceptive services and reproductive health facilities, and to address infrastructure problems that hinder access to health facilities in remote areas. 

Reproductive health education for adolescents has been delivered at schools through collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Culture. This topic has been integrated into the school curriculum, and training  has been conducted for teachers. For out-of-school children, reproduction health information is disseminated through the community, involving adolescents both as participants and counsellors. 

Intervention for the mitigation of HIV, especially for women, is conducted through the Mother to Child HIV Infection Prevention Program. The programme consists of four streams: infection prevention for women of reproductive age, unplanned pregnancy prevention for HIV-positive women, HIV infection prevention from HIV-positive mothers to unborn children, and psychological and social support and care for HIV-positive mothers and their families.  


3.3. Curricula

Mandatory or optional

Information was not found. 

Model of delivery

Sexuality education is incorporated within subjects.  

Comprehensiveness of content

Schools teach limited aspects of sexuality education, mostly focusing on abstinence and the threat of STIs. Issues such as consent, sexuality, and other gender-sensitive concepts are not included. A module on sexual harassment and abuse is included. For example, the contents of Catholic Religious Education includes equality between genders and 'sexuality as Grace of God'. In physical education, sports and health curricula, topics such as the danger of sexual activities and the prevention of STIs including HIV are also covered. In the Independent Curriculum (the most recent curriculum developed in response to the loss of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic) students are able to learn about risky behaviour, modes of transmission, and ways of preventing HIV, as well as the necessary steps to protect themselves and others from STIs. 

In the Handbook for the Implementation of Reproductive Health in Elementary Schools, students are expected to become more knowledgeable about various aspects of reproductive health, such as reproductive organs, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and STIs, including HIV. Life skills, relationships, personality, and gender equality are also expected to be covered. Students also learn about safe and unsafe touch, as well as consent and recognizing gender-based violence and reporting it.  

Rutgers Indonesia, has implemented comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in some parts of Indonesia through a programme called SETARA (Semangat Dunia Remaja). The programme has been implemented in ja number of junior high schools, several of which are public schools. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology adapted the SETARA curriculum and developed teacher training modules to integrate CSE into the current curriculum. SETARA is one of a number of CSE curricula targeted at adolescents in Indonesia. Other organizations such as UNFPA, UNICEF, and the National Family Planning Board have developed their own curricula. However, studies have indicated that many CSE programmes face common barriers to implementation barriers at a number of levels. 

Learning resources

The Handbook for the Implementation of Reproductive Health in Elementary Schools is available on the website of the Ministry of Education Elementary School Directorate. The Handbook states that health education books, which include reproductive health content, will be duplicated and distributed. 


3.4. Teachers

According to the Government of Indonesia’s response to the UNHCR Special Rapporteur, detailing the country's efforts to protect, respect, and fulfil the access to SRH services, the Ministry of Health has developed an education module on reproductive healthcare for teachers in elementary, junior high and senior high schools (and their equivalent). The module includes information on reproductive healthcare such as puberty, reproductive organs, and also covers drug use and education for healthy life skills.  

The Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence provides for teaching materials in the curriculum and extra-curricular activities on the subject of the elimination of sexual violence. 

Information was not found on whether teachers are mandated to be trained on the provision and delivery of sexuality education either as part of pre-service or in-service teacher training.


3.5. Schools

Access to school-based health services, including SRH: The Handbook for the Implementation of Reproductive Health in Elementary Schools states that reproductive health education should always be accompanied by the availability of youth-friendly reproductive health services, including counselling and referrals to health facilities. However, no specific information on this was found. 


4. Governance

4.1 Responsible ministries

The Educational Standards, Curriculum and Assessment Agency of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology is responsible for the curriculum. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health work together to develop and incorporate sexual health education into the curriculum. 

4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy

No information was found. 

4.3. Government budget allocation

No information was found. 


5. Monitoring and reporting

 The Handbook for the Implementation of Reproductive Health in Elementary Schools states that the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of activities of reproductive health education in elementary school education units will be conducted by the Ministry of Education's coaching and development programme and the Education Regional Technical Implementation Unit. 

Last modified:

Fri, 17/02/2023 - 17:58