» Archive for: December, 2014

cseIn October 2014 the International Institute of Social Studies hosted an expert meeting on ‘comprehensive sexuality education’. The event was organised by Share-Net International, Share-Net Netherlands, Institute of Social Studies (ISS/EUR), IS Academie (UvA), Rutgers WPF and dance4life. The meeting was attended by over 70 participants. The aim of the expert meeting was to provide an overview on evidence and research gaps, share experiences with designing and implementing CSE, and to highlight CSE from young people’s perspective.This is the first in a series of posts by guest contributor Sara Vida Coumans looking back at this event.

Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) aims to assist all human beings, thus including young people, in understanding and enjoying a holistic view on sexual and reproductive health and rights to be able to make informed decisions regarding their own life as well as regarding their environment and act upon them in all stages of their lives in dignity, equality, security and with respect.

CSE is most often targeted at young people. This is evident from CSE related targets set by various governments which typically include:

–       Eliminating all new HIV infections amongst adolescents and young people aged 10-24;

–       Increase to 95% the number of adolescents and young people aged 10-24, who demonstrate comprehensive HIV prevention knowledge levels;

–       Reduce early and unintended pregnancies among young people by 75%;

–       Eliminate gender-based violence;

–       Eliminate child marriage;

–       Increase the number of all schools and teacher trainings institutions that provides CSE to 75%.

UNESCO is one of the agencies that has embraced the CSE discourse. A short youtube clip entitled  ‘Young People Today’ sheds some interesting light on how UNESCO sees youth in relation to CSE. Despite the title of the clip, the narrative is an illustrative example of how young people are framed with their citizenship and rights in the future and not in the present, a discourse in which ‘they are the future of tomorrow’. Furthermore, within this discourse one can see how young people’s sexuality is approached in the present from a risk based approach, without talking about pleasure and sexual rights of adolescents and young people. One of the aims of the expert meeting was to unpack such an approach to youth and sexuality and to discuss alternative ways of understanding sexuality in relation to young people’s lives.

guest contribution by Sara Vida Coumans (Member, Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights)



Category: Uncategorized

24 Dec 2014

imagesThe University of Bath offers some interesting PhD scholarships. One is advertised as ‘PhD in understanding childhood – growing up in hard times‘, which is a qualitative longitudinal research project on low-income childhoods in England. It focuses on the lives and experiences of 60 children in 6 school settings over 3-5 years.

The second Bath scholarship is advertised as ‘Mobile money and children’s wellbeing in Africa‘, which seeks to cut across research on micro finance/mobile money and children’s wellbeing, whilst also engaging with the literature on the anthropology of mobile telephony. The research seeks to investigate how mobile money is entering into young people’s lives, by examining its effect on young people’s livelihood opportunities, as well as relational and subjective assessments of what young people are able to do and be.

Then there are Erasmus Mundus funded MA scholarships for a ‘European Master in Social Work with Families and Children‘. This is a two year master programme of 120 ECTS requiring students to spend a semester each in Lisbon, Stavanger and Gothenburg.



Call for Papers – EuroSEAS conference, Vienna, 11-14 August, 2015

Panel title: What Role for Southeast Asia in the Field of Youth Studies?


-Roy HUIJSMANS, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Hague, The Netherlands; r.b.huijsmans@remove-thisgmail.com

-Suzanne NAAFS, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia; s_naafs@remove-thishotmail.com

Panel description:

Whilst still predominated by research in the Global North, the field of youth studies is rapidly diversifying in geographical terms. One reason for this is the demographic presence of youth in the Global South due to a ‘youth bulge’ or demographic shift towards youth. Throughout the Global South, young people have taken on central and complex roles as political actors and media activists, as seen in their role in the Arab Spring and Occupy movement. In addition, the phenomenon of educated youth unemployment calls into question the links between education, employment and economic growth and challenges prominent theories about social reproduction and mobility. Finally, the apparent disinterest among youth in farming and rural futures raises questions about the place of the rural in the lives and aspirations for modernity among young Southeast Asians.

Southeast Asian research with/on youth stands out for its relative absence in any of these debates, despite it being a highly youthful region. Indeed, Southeast Asia is part of the Asia-Pacific region that is home to 60 per cent of the world’s youth population (aged 16-25). This panel invites contributions that address this apparent paradox and ultimately contribute to the question of what Southeast Asian research has to contribute to the wider and quickly evolving field of youth studies. Given the rapid socio-economic developments characterising much of Southeast Asia and the relative absence of large-scale youth protests the panel seeks to explore the unique contribution of Southeast Asian research on/with youth in a focus on everyday struggles of being young and growing up (instead of a focus on ‘spectacular youth’), rapidly changing inter-generational relations that reconfigure the social position of young people, social mobility through education and migration, and questions about gendered futures and desires for modernity among youth.


Those wishing to contribute a paper to the panel are invited to submit an abstract of 350 words maximum and a summarised CV (1 page maximum) by Feb 15th, 2015 to the convenors. Successful applicants will be notified in time for the early bird registration of the conference (which closes on Feb 28th). Full papers are due on July 1st, 2015. For further details on the 8th EuroSEAS Conference: http://www.euroseas.org/content/conference

International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.