Only 20% of countries have a law and 39% have a national policy that specifically address sexuality education.
Sexuality education in primary education is compulsory in 68% of countries, and in secondary education in 76% of countries.
8 in 10 countries provide in-service training for teachers on sexuality education.
INTRODUCTION: COMPREHENSIVE SEXUALITY EDUCATION
In 2018, UNESCO, in collaboration with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and WHO, published the “International technical guidance on sexuality education: an evidence-informed approach” which addresses the recommended content and delivery of sexuality education, with a focus on ensuring that it is comprehensive (i.e., that it covers diverse topics and is delivered to a wide age range using learner-centred approaches). This Guidance is intended to support countries in their decisions to invest in sexuality education for all learners, and to develop relevant policies, curricula and teacher training. While the UN uses the terminology of comprehensive sexuality education to provide a benchmark of best practice, within countries, many different terms are used to refer to sexuality education across different settings, including Life Skills Education, Health Education and HIV Prevention Education. The term sexuality education is used in these PEER profiles to refer to any subject that includes topics related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV and life skills education, even if this is not the name used in a country setting.
The profiles are primarily prepared through a review and synthesis of national regulations, including laws, policies and decrees, as well as sectoral or development plans. Sources used in the profiles come from official documents, statistics sources and peer-reviewed literature. Each profile is about 2,000 words and available in English, French or Spanish, depending on the language of the country. The length also depends on education governance structure, as countries with federal or highly decentralized structures may require the profiles to highlight regional or local differences in provision and regulations. The profiles are not intended to examine or discuss implementation. Indeed, while policy and law are an important building block for the provision of comprehensive sexuality education for all learners, it should be recognized in reading these profiles that in many countries there is still a gap between what is written in policy and the delivery of sexuality education in the classroom.
For more information, please refer to the report “The journey towards comprehensive sexuality education: global status report”.
These profiles were developed in partnership with UNESCO's Health and Education Section (Division for Peace and Sustainable Development).
Available countries: Argentina (in Spanish), Armenia, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (in Spanish), Cabo Verde, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Chile (in Spanish), Colombia (in Spanish), Congo, Costa Rica (in Spanish), Cuba (in Spanish), Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic (in Spanish), Equatorial Guinea, El Salvador (in Spanish), Estonia, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala (in Spanish), Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras (in Spanish), Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua (in Spanish), Niger, Nigeria, Mexico (in Spanish), Peru (in Spanish), Republic of Korea, The Philippines, St Lucia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain (in Spanish), Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay (in Spanish), Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
CONTENT: COMPREHENSIVE SEXUALITY EDUCATION
The profiles on sexuality education respond to three key questions: - What terms national laws, acts, policies and strategies are used to refer to sexuality education? - What laws, acts, policies and strategies exist relating to sexuality education? - How is sexuality education covered in curricula, materials for learning and teaching? Each profile is structured in five parts:
3. Laws and policies
3.1. Relevant international/regional agreements to which the country is a signatory
3.2. Relevant national laws and policies mandating sexuality education
3.3. Curricula (mandatory or optional; model of delivery; comprehensiveness of content; and learning resources)
3.4. Teachers (preparedness and capacity building; training through PRESET or INSET)
3.5. Schools (access to school-based health services, including sexual and reproductive health)
4.1 Responsible ministries
4.2. Level of responsibility/decentralization and autonomy
4.3. Government budget allocation
- Brochure: Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) Country Profiles (2023)