REPUBLIC OF PARAGUAY: Increased international pressure to save pregnant raped girl

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16 Jun 2015
[International Secretariat]
Topic: Reproductive Rights

International pressure is increasing on the Paraguayan authorities to urgently provide the girl raped when she was 10-year-old the medical care she desperately needs, including the option of the termination of her pregnancy, Amnesty International said after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called for urgent action to protect her human rights.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is the latest in a long line of international experts who have voiced their outrage at the horrific way this young girl is being treated by the Paraguayan authorities.

The Commission is echoing national and international concerns, that forcing this young girl to continue with the pregnancy could have devastating consequences on her physical and mental health in the short, medium and long term. It also takes into account the report of the interdisciplinary panel of national experts ordered by a Judge for Children and Adolescent that recognizes that the girl’s pregnancy is four times more life threatening than an adult pregnancy and highlights additional risks for the girl such as a haemorrhage post birth. Despite this assessment by Paraguayan experts the authorities did not react to protect the human rights of the girl.

The Commission’s call for precautionary measures joins previous calls from other experts around the world, including at the UN, as well as petitions signed by hundreds of thousands all over the world urging Paraguay to provide the girl with the possibility of an abortion.

The girl, with the pseudonym Maynumby in the precautionary measures, and described as 1.39 meters tall, weighing 34 kilos and suffering from malnutrition and anaemia, became pregnant earlier this year after being raped allegedly by her stepfather. Precautionary measures were requested by Cladem Paraguay and Equality Now, two prominent women’s rights organisations.

The girl’s mother has been detained and is facing charges of being an accomplice to sexual abuse and failing in the duty of care, despite having reported the abuse last year.

Amnesty International believes that continuing denial of access to abortion will only prolong and increase the girl’s suffering. The organisation repeats the warning to the Paraguay authorities that such deliberate and continued denial may amount to torture, which is a crime under international law.

9 June 2015

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