GENEVA / STATE OF THE WORLD POPULATION REPORT

30-Oct-2013 00:02:35
This year’s UNFPA report on “The State of World Population 2013” says that motherhood in childhood is a huge global problem, especially in developing countries, where every year 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth. CH UNTV

 
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STORY: GENEVA / STATE OF THE WORLD POPULATION REPORT
TRT: 2.35
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 30 OCTOBER 2013, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations
2. Wide shot, Presser
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Alanna Armitage Director, UNFPA Geneva:
“Motherhood in childhood is a huge global problem especially in developing countries where every year 7.3 million girls under the age of 18 give birth that's 20000 a day.”
4. Cutaway, name cards
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Luc de Bernis, UNFPA:
“The risk for maternal mortality is double when you are less than 18 and even if you go below the risk becomes absolutely enormous for the very very young girls. Very often not because we cannot save these lives but because they have no access to anything, they are not able to take any decision as Alanna said, many of them are married because pregnancies are occurring for the vast majority among married young girls and they have no access to services because they have no decisions. they cannot make any decision within the family
6. Cutaway, UNFPA report
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Alanna Armitage Director, UNFPA Geneva:
“The tendency when a girl gets pregnant is to blame the girl and work to change her behaviour but for most adolescents below age 18 and especially for those younger than 15 pregnancies are not the result of a deliberate choice - they're generally the result of an absence of choices and of circumstances beyond her control.”
8. Cutaway, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Alanna Armitage Director, UNFPA Geneva:
"Of the 7.3 million births a year to girls under 18, 2 million are to girls 14 or younger and pregnancy has an impact on all adolescents but very young girls are particularly vulnerable given their increase risk to exploitation, child marriage and sexual coercion.”
10. Cutaway, journalists and speakers
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Alanna Armitage Director, UNFPA Geneva:
“Early pregnancy takes a toll on girls health, education and rights; a girl without an education is a girl who will have a hard time finding a job and building a future for herself and her family; a girl who is pregnant at 14 or earlier is a girl whose rights have been violated and whose future has been derailed.”
12. Cutaway, women on mobile phones
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Alanna Armitage Director, UNFPA Geneva: “So of course while the challenge is far greater in developing countries this is a global problem and it’s also a challenge in developed countries.”
14. Wide shot, presser
STORYLINE
Motherhood in childhood is a huge global problem, especially in developing countries, where every year 7.3 million girls under 18 give birth, according to “The State of World Population 2013”, released today (30 Oct) by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA.)

Of these 7.3 million births, 2 million are to girls 14 or younger, who suffer the gravest long-term health and social consequences from pregnancy, including high rates of maternal death and obstetric fistula, according to the report, entitled, Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy.

The report places particular emphasis on girls 14 and younger who are at double the risk of maternal death and obstetric fistula.

Speaking to journalists at the report launch in Geneva, Alanna Armitage Director of UNFPA in Geneva said too often, society blames only the girl for getting pregnant, and added “the tendency when a girl gets pregnant is to blame the girl and work to change her behaviour but for most adolescents below age 18 and especially for those younger than 15 pregnancies are not the result of a deliberate choice - they're generally the result of an absence of choices and of circumstances beyond her control.”

According to the report, early pregnancy takes a toll on a girl’s health, education and rights. It also prevents her from realizing her potential and adversely impacts the baby. Luc de Bernis, a Senior Maternal Health Advisor at UNFPA said, “the risk for maternal mortality is double when you are less than 18 and even if you go below the risk becomes absolutely enormous for the very, very young girls.”

It is not just mothers and babies that suffer consequences. Children having children also severely impacts communities and nations’ economies. For example, if the more than 200,000 adolescent mothers in Kenya were employed instead of having become pregnant, $3.4 billion could have been added to the economy. This is equivalent to the value of Kenya’s entire construction sector. If adolescent girls in Brazil and India had been able to wait until their early 20s, the countries would have greater economic productivity equal to over $3.5 billion and $7.7 billion, respectively.

While the report concludes that adolescent pregnancy is a much bigger challenge in the developing world than in developed countries, it finds that it is still also a significant issue in the latter. In the United States, for example, only about half of the girls who become pregnant as adolescents complete high school by 22, compared to 9 out of 10 girls who do not become pregnant. It also harms the economy as a whole, with nearly $11 billion a year in costs to taxpayers in the U.S. alone.
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