The Commission on Population Region III is enjoining all government agencies, local government units, and other concerned organizations in Central Luzon in the celebration of the 2015 World Population Day. ( 2015 World Population Day Banner )
Themed “Dignity and Protection of Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies,” the 2015 WPD focuses on women, children, and young people who comprise over three quarters of the over 50 million people.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the above-mentioned sectors of the world’s population are forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict and disasters, much like the other members of society. However, women, children and adolescents are also vulnerable to situations such as greater risk of abuse, sexual exploitation, violence, forced marriage and reproductive health-related illnesses due to lack of protection and an absence of delivery to address their needs. These lead to high infant and maternal mortality rates, increase of teenage pregnancy cases, and high incidence of sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS.
In times of emergencies and other crises, access to basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric services and family planning must be provided. Services to treat survivors of gender-based violence must also be sufficient. Furthermore, care for and prevention of sexually transmitted infections must exist.
The key messages of this year’s WPD include “dignity, safety, and reproductive health for all women and girls at all times” as well as “ no excuses, a life of a woman is precious, under any circumstance and at all times.”
Women and girls are more vulnerable in emergencies and have specific needs that are often ignored in crises. Securing their safety, dignity, and health ensures the well-being of families and communities.
Preparedness shall always be the key to handling emergencies. And when it comes to vulnerable populations in times of crises, addressing concerns on adolescent sexual and reproductive health as well as family planning shall help ensure that the critical needs of these groups which are at high risk in emergencies are not overlooked.
Thus, we enjoin all partner agencies, local government units, civil society organizations, and other concerned groups to commemorate the 2015 WPD to ensure the dissemination of information and provision of services that are necessary not only to women, children, and young people, but to all sectors of the population.