There have allegedly been 144 cases of girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years becoming pregnant this year in Colombia, reported local media Friday.
Colombia has registered 1,125 cases of pregnant women under 18 so far this year, 144 of which were between the ages of 10 and 14. The highest figures were recorded in the rural departments of Cordoba, Caqueta and Casanare.
“The country cannot continue considering teen pregnancies as everyday occurrences. The authorities and society must be clear that sex with a child under 14 constitutes a case of sexual abuse,” said Diego Molano Aponte, the director of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF).
Colombia’s young mothers face the reality of bringing a child into the world “against the indifferent gaze of a society that forgets the consequences and legal implications it has,” lamented Molano.
Colombia has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in Latin America, according to Cristina Plazas Michelsen, Colombia’s High Councilor for Gender Equality.
“Teenage pregnancy generates poverty and slows social development… Instead of taking care of a baby, girls should be studying and going to the movies with friends,” said Michelsen.