UNICEF and the Government of Canada contribute to improve education and comprehensive health in high schools and to prevent violence and teenage pregnancy – Peru

Loreto, Peru, March 2023 – In order to evaluate the impact that the OF ADOLESCENTS project has on the lives of girls and boys in Loreto, a delegation of specialists led by the Chief of Cooperation of the Canadian Embassy in Peru, Ysabel Blanco, and the UNICEF Representative in Peru, Javier Alvarez, visited the region.

OF ADOLESCENTS is a UNICEF initiative developed in partnership with the Regional Government of Loreto and supported by the Government of Canada. As part of this project, a school model called High School as a Life Experience (HSEL) has been developed to promote gender equity and adolescent participation, especially for women.

This educational model has been adopted by 18 secondary schools in Loreto and is part of the Regional Educational Project and the Regional Strategy for the Comprehensive Development of Adolescents towards 2030. In addition, it has helped close to 20 thousand students to improve their educational trajectory.

According to the National Institute of Statistics, between 2017 and 2021, in Loreto, teenage pregnancy among 15-19 year olds decreased from 30.6 percent to 18.3 percent. However, in the same period, the number of girls and adolescents who became mothers before the age of 17 increased. These cases increased from 1788 to 2375. On the other hand, in 2022 the Women’s Emergency Center of Loreto reported 895 cases of violence against children of which 734 (82 percent) were against girls and adolescents and 489 (66 percent) were cases of sexual violence. In this regard, Ms. Isabel Blanco, Head of Cooperation of the Canadian Embassy, ​​said that “it is important that comprehensive sex education is taught in all schools in the country in order to prevent and reduce cases of sexual violence against girls and adolescents and unwanted pregnancies”.

Taking into account this reality, OF ADOLESCENTS incorporated into the HSEL strategy the promotion of adolescent health through comprehensive adolescent sexual health, mental health, nutrition, and good use of water. In addition, in coordination with the Regional Health Directorate of Loreto, the comprehensive adolescent health care package has been promoted at first level health facilities.

OF ADOLESCENTS has encouraged more than five thousand adolescents to lead and participate in different spaces, generating a growing social recognition of the capacity of adolescents to generate positive changes in their schools and communities. This leadership has managed to incorporate the issues of education, comprehensive adolescent health and violence prevention, among others, into the 2023 – 2026 Governance Agreement, signed during the last regional elections.

Commenting on the progress of the project, the UNICEF Representative in Peru, Javier Alvarez said that OF ADOLESCENTS “was and continues to be a great opportunity to influence the lives of the most vulnerable adolescents, so that they are recognized as subjects of rights and have access to an education that allows them to build and enjoy an autonomous, productive and democratic life project” . It is also recommended increasing and improving the quality of spending, especially in preventing violence and adolescent participation. In 2020, the Public Expenditure for Children was approximately 1,300,000 soles. Seventy-seven percent was allocated to Education and 23 percent to Health.

Media Contacts

Carolyn McCaffrey
Communication Specialist (Advocacy)
UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 6857-2243
Email: [email protected]

Elsa Ursula
Tel: +511 613 0763
Tel: +511 9935 58526
Email: [email protected]