Global Resources

Adolescent girls fact sheet

Publisher: Women's Refugee Commission
Publication Date: May 2014

The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) prepared this report to highlight the plight of displaced adolescent girls across the world. It acknowledges that girls 15-years-old or younger are particularly vulnerable to sexual assaults and gender-based violence (GBV). They are also less likely to attend school, which influences child marriage and early childbearing. According to the report, natural disasters and/or conflicts make the situation even worse for adolescent girls, including forced migration.

Displacement does, however pose some potential positives. Migration provides opportunities to bring to light the plight of girls, which may otherwise have gone unnoticed; girls may also come within reach of life-changing influences, such as health services, education, and mentorship. WRC posits that these opportunities should not be missed, as they have the potential to improve the lives of not only the affected girls, but also the wellbeing of their families and communities.

WRC advocates for a girl-centred approach to human rights, with the empowerment of adolescent girls and ending of GBV paramount among priorities.

The report ends with WRC reaffirming their commitments to conduct more field assessments and research, together with operational partners and community groups, to enhance their engagement in a range of activities, including the following:

• Creating access to spaces where girls can safely form friendships, be mentored and acquire life skills, financial literacy and work transition skills to better position them for future livelihoods; and

• Creating portals for education on puberty, sexuality, fertility awareness; access to sexual and reproductive health services, such as family planning and STI prevention, care and treatment; and youth-friendly pregnancy care.