The teen pregnancy issue

WE, leaders and representatives of civil society organisations, professional societies, scientific associations, faith-based organisations, government agencies and departments, private for-profit entities, non-governmental, non-profit organisations and citizens of Malaysia are united behind this consensus to reduce unintended adolescent pregnancies in Malaysia.

We are concerned by the reported rising rate of unprotected adolescent sexual activity, of which the health and social impacts include unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions or miscarriages, disrupted education, child marriages, social stigma and further victimisation.

Due to legal, social, and cultural barriers, safe and meaningful access to sexual and reproductive health education and services remain inadequate among adolescents.

The health needs, the developing autonomy and capacity and the psychosocial struggles of adolescents should be centrally placed, and everyone in society has the responsibility of standing in solidarity with our adolescents and supporting their needs.

In developing our child- and adolescent-centred commitments, we have conducted multiple robust discussions over a long period. In these discussions, we have carefully considered the ethical, religious, political, scientific, cultural, and Malaysian contexts.

We have also considered the spirit and wording of the Charter of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef); Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (1994);

Constitution of the World Health Organisation (updated 2014) and Universal Health Coverage; Sustainable Development Goals (2015); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979);

Position Paper on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (Madrid Declaration) (2019), European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health; and National Strategy Plan in Handling the Causes of Child Marriage,

Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (2020), Malaysia.

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