Research now supports —that the teenager’s brain is different than the adult brain.
Recent research by scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has found that the teen brain is not a finished product, but is a work in progress.
The brain is still developing during the teen years Dr. Jay Giedd of the NIMH has reported that brain “maturation does not stop at age 10, but continues into the teen years and even into the 20’s.
Adolescents defined by WHO as the period between 10and 19 Years, is an important formative time which, to a large extent, shapes the future course of ‘Girls and boys lives. During adolescents, the physical, intellectual and emotional characteristics and patterns of childhood are gradually replaced by adult ones, and girls and boys progressively evolve into a state of relative socio-economic independence. While these changes are occurring, adolescent needs, on the one hand, to be supported as children and on the other, to be helped to achieve the independence, which they desire.
According to the UNCRC adolescents are children
The concept of the child as subject of rights, entitled to respect as an individual is embedded in the entire philosophy of the convention and expressed, explicitly or implicitly, in many of its articles:
Article 5 – appropriate direction and guidance should be provided in
accordance with respect for children’s evolving capacity
Article 9- children should not be separated from their families without the
right to make their views known
Article 13 - right to freedom of expression
Article 14 - right to freedom of conscience, thought and religion
Article 15 - right to freedom of association
Article 16 - right to privacy and respect
Article 17 - right to information
Article 29 - right to the education that promotes the fullest possible
development, and respect for human rights, peace and tolerance.
Why Adolescents are Important? Adolescents are an important resource for their family, communities and the Nation. As junior members of the households, they make a valuable contribution to the family’s economics well-being through paid work or household activities which free other adults to earn. All adolescents represent the hope for the future development of a nation. With proper support, guidance and nurturing, their contribution and participation can be greatly enhanced.
Adolescents between 10-19 years almost 23% of Bangladesh population( WHO)
There is no specific health care services for Adolescent girls or boys.
Teenagers lack easy access to contraceptives and feel guilty and embarrassed to use them.
Cultural practices often involve sexual abuse or exploitation, and act as barriers to responsible sexuality.
Boys and girls reveal a poor understanding of their sexuality and information sources seem to be media and peers.
Adolescents : Some Facts and Perceptions
Extent and Nature of Adolescent Girls' Work; Many Adolescents girls work-mainly to supplements the family income Compared to Boys, girls have fewer opportunity to work for wages. Girls living in Urban areas are more likely to be unemployed than girls Larges numbers of Adolescents girls work in Agriculture, although they are frequently unpaid for the work they do. 400000 adolescents girls aged 14+19 are working in the garments industry. Their working environment is far from ideal, but many have more autonomy and independence from their families than other girls. It is estimated that there are 225,000 female child domestics in Dhaka city,90% of whom are between 9 and 16 years old. Girls working in domestic services are isolated. Their vulnerability to various kinds of abuse from their employers is very high.
Adolescent Health and Guidance Services Broad Objective To provide health and psycho-social services for adolescents through a comprehensive Adolescent Health Programme. Specific Objectives To assess health and psychological needs and problems of adolescents through differential diagnosis; To support adolescents to cope with problem behavior, by providing psychotherapy, guidance and counselling; To promote positive attitudes and values in adolescents for healthy sexual behavior; To enhance adolescent’s potential through various strategies of life skills education; To establish linkages with schools, PTIs and civil service organizations in order to strengthen services for the adolescents; and To provide referral services for adolescents with specific health related problems.