World Population Day was established by the United Nations in order to raise awareness of global population issues. The 2013 event seeks to increase awareness on the issue of adolescent pregnancy.
About 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. For many of these children, pregnancy is not a choice. Far too often, pregnancy is a consequence of rape, child marriage or forced prostitution. Once pregnant, girls may be forced to undergo unwanted or unsafe abortions which can lead to infection, injury or death. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth can also cause illness or death for both the mother and infant. In some regions of the world girls are forced to drop out of school when they become pregnant. For many sexually exploited girls, having children means becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and they may become increasingly dependent on their abusers for financial support.
Today on World Population Day, please think of the millions of girls around the world who are at risk for adolescent pregnancy as a result of sexual exploitation. Please ask your friends, family and colleagues to read and share this story and help us raise awareness of World Population Day and the commercial sexual exploitation of children.