ACISJF-IN VIA Declarations
Minors already mothers : What to Do?
We, members of ACISJF-IN VIA, gathered at the General Assembly in Fiuggi, from April 17 to 20, 2015, after analyzing the living conditions of minor and adolescent mothers, wish to draw to the attention of public, private, ecclesiastical and civil society institutions around the world that every day 20,000 girls under 18 give birth to children (UN World Report). This results in a situation, both for the young mothers and for the babies, of psychological consequences from physical and mental health, in addition to economic problems.
ACISJF-IN VIA has actively worked for 118 years to assist young women and girls on various continents. It provide support and accompaniment in the diverse situations in which they find themselves. Due to an extensive experience and the lack of respect practiced by signatory countries of international Conventions including the Rights of the Childand the the Rights of women, the Association requests :
To the States
To ensure that :
- traditions and different cultural practices respect the dignity and integrity of each young person's life;
- effective legislative measures are taken to combat the forced prostitution of minors;
- sanctions are applied to people who abuse, rape and exercise physical, psychological and mental violence against minors;
- every child born to a minor adolescent mother has the right to a free birth certificate regardless of the conditions in which the mother lives in order to be recorded as a full citizen ;
- every mother has legal right to oblige the father to recognise his responsibilities ;
- young mothers can continue their studies, and public institutions cannot exclude them because they are mothers;
- young mothers have access to health services and psychological support without discrimination or prejudice of any kind;
- recognize the role of the family, the base cell of society, in the education, protection and security of all people, especially children.
To Civil Society
- implement the necessary structures (assistance and listening centers) to allow minors to talk about their experiences and problems with confidence ;
- take measures against any discriminatory practice ;
- denounce all disrespect for rights, all violence and all sexual abuse against adolescents ;
- provide expecting mothers with quality assistance in order to avoid early death ;
- guarantee social protection for minor mothers and their children ;
- provide platforms or networks to allow young people to talk to each other.
To School and University Institutions
- respect girls and adolescent mothers, allowing them to continue their studies without exclusion;
- provide the right to information and sex education taking into account the maturity of the children ;
- educate students to respect themselves and to respect the will of others ;
- listen, taking into account the situations experienced by young people, and lead them into an adult and responsible sexuality.
To the Church
- integrate these minor and adolescent mothers into their family ministry ;
- listen to the realities and life wishes of young people ;
- integrate education for life and for love in the catechesis.
- raise awareness among those responsible to the situations experienced by these young mothers;
- listen to them ;
- ensure that the responsible authorities provide the means to inform them, accompany them and offer them new opportunities ;
- network with other organizations involved in pregnancy prevention of minor mothers and accompaniment of the young mothers ;
- raise the voice before those responsible and international bodies for the application of the laws and conventions against violence against young girls.