According to the World Health Organization, “gender-based inequity is usually exacerbated during situations of extreme violence such as armed conflict.” Worldwide, Human Rights Watch estimates that there are over 300,000 child soldiers, a portion of them girls. Girls have been involved in armed conflict in 33 countries and may play various roles: as cooks, messengers, stealing food, kidnapping other children, for sexual purposes, as human mine sweepers, and carrying arms. The presentation will describe the impact on girls’ sexual health and sexual rights, including enduring the sexual violence of rape and sexual slavery, suffering from sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, infertility, and the stigma of premature or unsanctioned sexual experiences.
Conflict of Interest: None disclosed
Financial Support/Funding: None disclosed
Sydney, Australia, April 2007