VIENTIANE: The Lao government has pledged to intensify efforts to lower the high rate of child marriage and adolescent pregnancy in the country, reported Xinhua.

The Lao government has partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), launching a critical report titled “Understanding Pathways to Adolescent Pregnancy in Southeast Asia: Findings from Lao PDR.”

This collaborative effort marks a milestone in addressing the pressing issue of adolescent pregnancy through comprehensive research and analysis, Lao News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Laos has the highest child marriage and adolescent pregnancy rates in Southeast Asia, with 30.5 per cent of Lao women married before the age of 18 and 17.4 per cent having their first child before the age of 18, according to the report.

The Lao government is deeply committed to addressing adolescent pregnancy and child marriage through integrated strategies and evidence-based interventions. The insights from this report are invaluable in guiding the government's efforts to ensure a healthy and promising future for the younger generation.

The report identifies key pathways to adolescent pregnancy and offers tailored policy and programming recommendations to address this complex issue effectively. It also emphasises the need for accessible, high-quality sexual and reproductive health information and services.