Paraguay: 8 facts to understand the crisis of sexual abuse against children and teenagers

  • 80% of cases of sexual abuse against children and teenagers take place in the family environment (Ministry of Children and Adolescents and UNICEF Paraguay).
  • In 2019 alone, the Public Prosecutor’s Office received, on average, 12 reports of sexual violence against children and teenagers every day.
  • More than 1,000 girls aged 14 years or younger gave birth between 2019 and 2020 in Paraguay, where, although abortion is permitted when the life of the pregnant woman is in danger, the law is rarely applied. (Public information request/Ministry of Public Health, Paraguay).
  • More than 12,000 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 also gave birth in 2019, according to data from the Ministry of Public Health. Many of these pregnancies may also have been the result of sexual violence, lack of comprehensive sexual education, inadequate information on prevention of early pregnancy or insufficient access to sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Girls under the age of 15 are four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications, in addition to being at increased risk of premature births, among many other potential health complications (CLACAI and FLASGO).
  • The Childhood and Adolescence Code of Paraguay recognizes the importance of comprehensive sexual education. However, in 2011, the authorities stopped its implementation. In 2017, the Ministry of Education and Science banned “the dissemination and use of materials…referring to gender theory and/or ideology, in educational institutions.”
  • In 2018, Paraguay adopted Law 6202 to prevent sexual abuse and guarantee comprehensive care for child and teenage survivors. Three years later, the roadmap for its implementation has still not been finalized.