Scotland must respect children's right to sex education

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Tuesday 29th October 2013

The Scottish Government is updating guidance for schools on sex education, and has invited comment on its latest draft.

HIV Scotland is concerned that the draft of the guidance update - and indeed current policy - fails to recognise that a child’s right to education includes the right to education on sexual health. This is both a human right in itself and an indispensable means of realising other human rights, such as the right to health.

The fact that there is no binding legal requirement for a child to participate in a programme of sex education in Scotland is particularly concerning.

Comprehensive sexual health education is fundamental, particularly when the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is considered. And despite the huge impact HIV has had - and continues to have - across Scotland, there is no specific reference to HIV within either the existing guidance for schools, or the draft update to it.

For more information, read the full HIV Scotland comment [PDF - 440kB] submitted to the Scottish Government in response to the draft guidance update, or contact our policy team. We'll continue to monitor progress on the issue - sign up to our eBulletin and we'll keep you updated.