Around 1 in 6 persons in the world is an adolescent: that is 1.2 billion people aged 10 to 19. Promoting healthy practices during adolescence, and taking steps to better protect young people from health risks are critical for the prevention of health problems in adulthood. Building life skills in children and adolescents and providing them with psychosocial support in schools and other community settings can help promote good mental health. Programmes to help strengthen ties between adolescents and their families are also important so that if problems arise, they can be detected and managed by competent and caring health workers.
WHO commits to stand against female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (CEFM)
22 July 2014 – WHO participated in the first Girl Summit in London. Organized by the UK Government, and co-hosted by UNICEF, the summit aimed to mobilize domestic and international efforts to end FGM and child, early and forced marriage within a generation. The summit invited dialogue and commitments from partner agencies, the private sector, religious organizations, civil society, and governments around the world.
While physical, psychological and social development extends from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, there is growing recognition that early adolescence (10-14 years) is an especially crucial phase. There is also widespread recognition that early adolescence has been/is being neglected both in research and in action.
When national Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health strategies are not implemented effectively, adolescents and young people are unable to obtain the sexuality and reproductive health education they need in their schools and communities, and sexual and reproductive health services they need from health facilities in their communities. The result is unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and STIs including HIV infection.