The State of World Population 2003
Over 1.2 billion adolescents—one person in five—are
making the transition from childhood to adulthood. How well we
prepare them to face adult challenges in a fast changing world
will shape humanity’s common future. Adolescents must be
enabled to avoid early pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections
and HIV/AIDS while being given skills, opportunities and a real
say in development plans, stresses The State of World Population
2003 report by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.
report, Making 1 Billion Count: Investing in Adolescents’ Health
and Rights, will be released on 8 October, on the web
and at press events in London and other cities around the world.
are a diverse group. Millions of girls in poor countries still
get married and give birth in their teens, interrupting
their education and endangering their health. For many other
girls and boys, the trend is towards later marriage but greater
exposure to the risks of unprotected sexual activity. All,
whether rich or poor, married or not, urban or rural, in school
have a right to information and services to safeguard their
sexual and reproductive health. Girls and young women need better
against discrimination, coercion and gender-based violence.
to ensure these human rights can have tremendous practical
benefits, empowering individuals, promoting gender equality,
stemming the HIV/AIDS pandemic, reinforcing an uneven global
trend towards smaller families, reducing poverty and improving
prospects for economic progress, the report shows.
world, innovative programmes are teaching adolescents about reproductive
health and showing how relevant health services
can be made more “youth-friendly” to increase their
use. Laws and policies are being revised to give greater attention
to adolescents’ needs and rights. Not investing in such
efforts will perpetuate poverty, inequality, unsustainable population
growth and HIV/AIDS.
Journalists may order advance copies of The
State of World Population 2003 from firstname.lastname@example.org or
UNFPA Media Services Branch,
220 E. 42nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA. They may also
request a password to view the report and press materials on-line
before its release. After 8 October the full report will be
for free at www.unfpa.org.
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