Southern Africa: Alarming rise in the number of girls experiencing sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancies during the pandemic calls on governments to take action to protect girls’ rights

Authorities across Southern Africa must immediately take action to protect girls’ rights to health, information, education, equality and to live freely from gender-based violence and discrimination, Amnesty International said today as the world continues to mark 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Soaring rates of sexual abuse in the region in combination with closure of essential health services and schools during the pandemic has resulted in thousands of girls getting pregnant at an early age, some as young as nine or 10 years.

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