Adolescents – young people between the ages of 10 and 19 years – are often thought of as a healthy group. Nevertheless, many adolescents die prematurely due to accidents, suicide, violence, pregnancy related complications and other illnesses that are either preventable or treatable.
Many more adolescents suffer chronic ill-health and disability. Furthermore, many serious diseases in adulthood have their roots in adolescence. For example, alcohol or tobacco use, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, poor eating and exercise habits, or substance use disorders lead to illness or premature death later in life.
Alcohol and other harmful substances are major risk factor for ill-health and disability as well as pre-mature death.
And the alcohol industry, as well as other industries of the corporate consumption complex, are working aggressively to target adolescents with their marketing messages, to recruit new and younger consumer and foster brand loyalty as early as possible.
We are convinced that adolescents are more than future consumers. They future leaders for a better world. But they are also current change-makers, here and now. And they are citizens and advocates with vast potential and important insights.
Adolescents are central to everything we want to achieve in terms of global and planetary health and sustainable development.
It is for those reasons that we work with and for adolescents in special ways: We provide support to regional networks in Europe, India and South-East Asia – movements driven by and run for adolescents – to realize their rights to health, well-being, education and full and equal participation in society.
In Movendi International we hold that providing space for adolescent leadership is the best way to equipping them to attain their full potential as adults.