Comunicados MESECVI

Committee of Experts puts focus on teen pregnancy and sexual and reproductive rights

In the framework of the Twelfth Meeting of the Committee of Experts of the MESECVI, held on 13 and 14 October 2015 in Lima, Peru, which brought together experts from across the continent; and under the International Day of the Girl Child, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011, held on October 11, conducting a thematic report was approved by the experts on adolescent pregnancy and sexual and reproductive rights .

This report will promote opportunities for discussion and draw attention to the issue in the region; also seek to provide information on the issues surrounding pregnancy in girls under 14 years in Latin America and the Caribbean and its relation to violence, especially sexual, and issue recommendations to the states parties to the Convention of Belém do Pará on the right of girls to live free of violence, enshrined in Article 6 thereof. The document will cover the sexual violence against girls, forced maternity, teenage pregnancy, sexual and reproductive rights and vulnerability of girls under 14 years.

The Committee of Experts has expressed its concern that sexual violence against women and girls has negative consequences both on them and on the whole of society, it affects their physical and reproductive health, increases the risk of morbidity and mortality maternal and infant HIV transmission and generates high-risk pregnancies and pregnancy related problems, including unsafe abortions, premature birth, fetal suffering, depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and increased risk of suicide. Added to this, teenage pregnancy carries major medical and psychosocial risks, constituting a public health, justice and education.

Article 7 of the Convention of Belém do Pará obliges states parties to “condemn all forms of violence against women and agree to pursue, by all appropriate means and without delay, policies to prevent, punish and eradicate such violence “and also to” exercise due diligence to prevent, investigate and punish violence against women “. Therefore, the Committee of Experts, through the “Declaration on Violence against Women and Adolescents and Sexual and Reproductive Rights” issued in 2014, has recommended that States ensure sexual and reproductive health of women and their right to life, eliminating unsafe abortion and establishing laws and policies that allow abortion.