Population Matters

“A 15-year-old is too young to give birth”

“A 15-year-old is too young to give birth”

Alvaro Serrano, regional communication adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) regional office, says 20,000 girls under 15 give birth every day around the world, and that it is necessary to tackle the root causes of adolescent pregnancy, given the substantial economic, human and social costs attached to it.

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The theme of Serrano’s presentation was “The State of World Population Report and Other Matters”. He also displayed a copy of the UNFPA 2013 report titled “Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy”. Based on UNFPA 2013 stats, the Caribbean countries with the highest teen pregnancy rates are Guyana, Belize, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, and Suriname.

The report also found despite the fall in total fertility rates, adolescent birth rates remain relatively high in the Caribbean.

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“The global population of the world is 7.2 billion…47 per cent of the population is less than 25 years old, so we have a very young population. Every day, more than 20,000 girls give birth and 25 per cent of that number usually are girls below age 15. Every person below 18 is considered a child,” said Serrano.

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