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“Fathers migrate, leaving mothers to be the sole breadwinner.Mothers find work in the garment factories and work all day so children are free, left alone,” he said.SAN SALVADOR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rape at the hands of relatives and a lack of sex education are driving pregnancies among girls in El Salvador, which is struggling to stem one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Latin America, according to a top health official.More than a third of all pregnancies in the Central American nation are among girls aged 10 to 19, and girls as young as 9 have become pregnant, said Deputy Health Minister Eduardo Espinoza.
“But the issue is before teenagers get pregnant and that’s to do with school.” He defended the government’s record, however, saying access to health services has been expanded nationwide since 2009, including free contraception.
El Salvador’s waves of emigration also has played a role, the minister said.
In 2008, the church blocked a manual for teachers, created by the education ministry, from being used to teach sexual health in schools.
Opponents say sex education encourages children to engage in sex.
Child sex tourism, part of the multibillion-dollar global sex tourism industry, is a form of child prostitution within the wider issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children.