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News : International : Organization of American States (OAS) Last Updated: Mar 31, 2017 - 10:43:14 PM


Hemispheric Report on Sexual Violence and Child Pregnancy
By Inter-American Commission of Women • Organization of American States
Mar 28, 2017 - 7:25:59 PM

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The Committee of Experts of the Follow-Up Mechanism to the Belém do Pará Convention (MESECVI), prepared a Hemispheric Report on Sexual Violence and Child Pregnancy in the States Party to the Belém do Pará Convention, the regional reality of pregnancy among girls younger than 14 and its relation to sexual violence.

What is the purpose of the report?To bring visibility to the issue, provide a space for discussion, formulate recommendations to the States Party to the Convention and promote the right of all girls to live free from violence.

Why was the report prepared?The high rates of sexual violence against girls, their direct impact on child marriage or union and child pregnancy, forced motherhood and the absence of policies that address this grave situation have been a source of constant concern to the Committee of Experts.

What is the position of the Committee?The Committee is emphatic instating that sexual relations with girls younger than 14 are a crime and that any pregnancy in a girl younger than 14 should be considered the product of sexual violence.

Why do girls have to continue with pregnancies against their will?In many countries of the region, abortion is prohibited or restricted and, even when permitted in cases of sexual violence or risk to the physical or mental health of the girl, may be difficult to access. In addition, lack of information or misinformation, legislation that perpetuates gender stereotypes and the absence or non-utilization of protocols in cases where abortion is permitted are the main reasons that a girls is forced to continue with a pregnancy.

The Committee of Expertsis the technical component of the of the MESECVI, responsible for the analysis and evaluation of the implementation of the Belém do Pará Convention. It is made up of independent Experts that are designated by each of the States Party to the Convention, and perform their functions in their personal capacity.

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