UNESCO Banner

HIV and AIDS

International Guidelines on Sexuality Education

UNESCO launched the Conference Ready version of its International Guidelines on Sexuality Education at the 19th World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) Congress held in Göteborg, Sweden, 21-25 June 2009.

International Guidelines on Sexuality Education

The WAS Congress, on the theme of “Sexual Health and Rights: A Global Challenge”, brought together clinicians, researchers, educators, activists and policy makers from around the globe to share knowledge on issues of contemporary sexual health.

An oral presentation highlighting the process of developing the draft International Guidelines was made to approximately 100 delegates in a session entitled “Sexual Education: Youth”. Copies of the Guidelines were then made available to all interested participants.

The draft International Guidelines on Sexuality Education are a rights-based framework for offering information and knowledge to children and young people about sex, relationships and HIV/STIs within a structured teaching/learning process. The draft International Guidelines are targeted at education and health authorities and institutions, including curriculum developers, school principals and teachers. The draft International Guidelines:

  • contain evidence and expert opinion on why sexuality education is important and what outcomes can be achieve,
  • define what comprehensive sexuality education is by providing a basic minimum package of age appropriate topics and learning objectives,
  • define the necessary steps for building support and ownership among key stakeholders
  • contain a bibliography of useful resources.


In summary, the draft International Guidelines respond to the challenge of giving children and young people access to the knowledge and skills they need in their personal, social and sexual lives.

The draft International Guidelines were presented at the Sex and Relationships Education Conference to be held in Birmingham, UK, 7-9 September 2009.

UNESCO used the Birmingham conference as an opportunity to share lessons in this priority area of its work as well as publicise the Guidelines.

A final version of the draft International Guidelines on Sexuality Education with endorsement from several partner UN agencies is expected by the end of 2009.

UNAIDS recently featured the launch of the Guidelines on their website. To view the article, click here

  • Publication date: 11-08-2009
    Email newsletter

    E-mail:

    AIDSspace logo
    Europe and North America Latin America and the Caribbean Africa Arab States Asia Pacific