"They Are Girls" - Seeking Justice in Latin America

01.26.2021

Primary Content

The Latin America and Caribbean region is the only one in the world where the number of girls under 14 giving birth continues to rise. The provision of appropriate sexual and reproductive health services can save the lives of thousands of girls who are victims of sexual violence. To ensure that girls are not forced into unwanted pregnancies and forced motherhood, States must ensure access to emergency oral contraception and termination of pregnancy.

Seeking justice, reparation and the creation of global human rights standards, we decided to take the cases of Norma, Fátima Lucía and Susana. Four Latin American girls from different countries were victims of the same phenomenon: Each petitioner was under 14 when she was raped by an older man in a position of power and became pregnant. Due to the lack of access to sexual and reproductive care, they were forced to carry pregnancies that put their health and lives at risk. All four came from poor and rural communities. Their lack of education and financial means made self-advocacy difficult if not impossible.