Reuters (04.25.12) - Wednesday, April 25, 2012
On Tuesday, UNICEF released its first-ever report on the
challenges facing the world's 1.2 billion people ages 10-19, a
group comprising 18 percent of the global population.
"Progress for Children: A Report Card on Adolescents" was
issued to coincide with this week's meeting of the UN
Commission on Population Development.
Among the key findings of the report:
*Some 2.2 million people ages 10-19 are living with HIV, and
most are unaware of their infection. Girls account for 1.3
million of adolescent HIV cases. Many HIV-positive adolescents
contracted the virus at birth, while others were infected
through unprotected sex or sharing needles.
*Adolescent girls in developing countries often marry and bear
children at too young an age, hampering their educational
opportunities. Approximately 16 million girls ages 15-19 give
birth each year worldwide; 90 percent of births to adolescents
occur within marriage. Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-
Saharan Africa have the highest proportion of teenage births.
*1.4 million adolescents die from injuries related to
childbirth complications, traffic accidents, suicide, AIDS,
gang-related violence, and other causes.
*Though 90 percent of the world's children are enrolled in
primary school, secondary school enrollment drops off
dramatically; this is particularly true in developing nations
in Africa and Asia. Worldwide, 71 million adolescents do not
attend secondary school, and up to 127 million young people
ages 15-24 are illiterate - mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and