The Latin America and Caribbean region is the only one in the world where the number of girls under 15 giving birth continues to rise. Access to 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, the Center for Reproductive Rights joined partner organizations in bringing the cases of Norma, Fátima, Lucía, and Susana before the United Nations Human Rights Committee to call attention to the human rights abuses experienced by women and girls who are subjected to sexual violence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The four cases are emblematic of a pattern of sexual and reproductive rights violations against girls and the lack of judicial recourse for victims of sexual abuse. Four Latin American girls from different countries were victims of sexual violence: 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. The lifelong impact that this has had on their physical, emotional, and mental health is compounded by the fact that when they tried to report their abuse, they were revictimized by the very systems designed to keep people safe.
A report by the Center, “They are Girls: Reproductive Rights Violations in Latin America and the Caribbean”
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