“Sexual violence against girls in Latin America is alarming”: NGO

Madrid, April 21 (EFE).- The girls Y teenagers of Latin America face “serious problems” that will influence their future, according to the NGO Plan Internationalbut, above all, they suffer an “alarming” sexual violence that will mark the rest of his life.

“Girls face physical and psychological violence and one of the worst forms of violence, which is sexual, the numbers are really alarming and painful,” Verónica Zambrano, regional director for South America of this organization, explains in an interview with EFE. helps children, which promotes equality for girls.

Zambrano illustrates with official data the situation of some countries in the region and indicates that in Peru in 2020 there were 13 thousand 843 cases of sexual violenceof which 63% were against girls from 0 to 17 years old.

Alarming are also the cases in The Saviorwhere in 2017, 101 thousand 494 girls Y teenagers reported being victims of sexual violence.

Illustrative Photo: Special

In addition, Zambrano warns about the increasing cases of pregnancies teenagers in the region, as well as a “hidden” situation in Latin America, early child marriage.

“This generalized violence is linked to the lack of access to education on sexual and reproductive rights,” contextualizes the person in charge, who reveals that only in Honduras there are 19 thousand 355 babies born from teenagers between 15 and 19 years old, “twenty times more than what happens in Spain”.

“In Guatemala there are 63 thousand 655 babies of mothers between fifteen and nineteen years old, 55 times more than what happens in Spain. These are shocking numbers, almost half of the Latin American adolescent girls who have started their sexual life have been mothers, have been pregnant or have lost a baby,” she says.

THE LATIN AMERICA OF THE FUTURE

Zambrano wonders: “what Latin America is being built?” when there is girls who experience this violence and “they will be the women who will be working and in charge of families and their children in the coming decades.”

“Hopefully we can put these data on the public agenda (…), this has to change, the same thing happens in Asia and Africa,” he stresses.

Explain that the girls who live in these environments of violence grow up “submissive, without security, in fear, without a life plan or project,” “and they grow up a little to survive each day, as mothers survive, with a dollar a day, feeding What there is”.

Illustrative Photo: Special

Despite this, he assures that there is “hope” because the work of the organization has allowed them to observe examples of change. “We have been able to reach the communities and see that when the girls they are given the opportunity to stay in school, they stay, although later gender roles and stereotypes are reproduced there too,” she says.

GIRL AND MIGRANT, A DOUBLE DISCRIMINATION IN LATIN AMERICA

The regional director pays special attention to the situation of the girls Y teenagers migrants of the region, protagonists and victims of migratory crises that “will last for years”.

“The region is suffering migratory crises like the ones it has never experienced, they have hot spots like Haiti where since 2013 with the earthquake it has had a brutal migratory crisis, with thousands of people who have had to leave in the most difficult conditions of extreme poverty” , analyze.

It also refers to the crisis in the northern triangle, formed by Honduras, The Savior Y Guatemalawhose citizens migrate en masse to seek a better life in USA or the Venezuelan crisis that has left seven million migrants distributed throughout several Latin American countries.

Illustrative Photo: Special

“Venezuelan girls arrive in other countries with this stigma attached to them that they are easy women, that they become prostitutes, xenophobia is terrible, broken families arrive, this Venezuelan crisis has the face of a woman and a young man and a girl,” he says. .

Along these lines, he regrets that the receiving countries are not prepared to receive these people and that the pandemic has further aggravated the situation.

“There is a lack of access to schools and health and pregnancies are happening again teenagersearly marriage, gender violence, separating from their family… they dream of being well in the country they are in, but what they go through is very hard,” he says.

B.V.

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“Sexual violence against girls in Latin America is alarming”: NGO