July 11 is World Population Day. World Population Day seeks to highlight the effects that human overpopulation can have on the natural environment, animal habitats and other humans. According to the United Nations, ‘human population has risen from 2.5 billion in 1950, to over 7 billion in 2011’.
The theme for World Population Day 2013 is Focus is on Adolescent Pregnancy. The United Nations Population Fund claims that ‘about 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. The vast majority – 90 per cent – of the pregnant adolescents in the developing world are married. Adolescent pregnancy often means an abrupt end of childhood, a curtailed education and lost opportunities’.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s World Population Day message is ‘When we devote attention and resources to the education, health and wellbeing of adolescent girls, they will become an even greater force for positive change in society that will have an impact for generations to come. On this World Population Day, let us pledge to support adolescent girls to realize their potential and contribute to our shared future.’
More information about World Population Day can be found on the UNFPA‘s website.