SEXUAL assault among teenagers is a major contributor to the high rate of pregnancies in Fiji.
Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) co-ordinator Shamima Ali made the comments after the launch of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of World Population 2013 Report on Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy on Friday.
She said reports of sexual abuse among teenagers had been increasing in recent years, and she said often girls were impregnated by relatives or in-laws.
"I would say that about 50 per cent of pregnant adolescents coming to the FWCC are the result of forced sex," she said.
Ms Ali said it was important for families and teachers to make children aware of the consequences of sexual abuse.
"We need to teach boys to respect women, and not to force sex on them.
"We are developing a program for boys in schools that we hope we can work with the education department to introduce it next year."
She added the government, like previous governments, lacked trained specialists and detailed research.
"I think we need to do more research as a nation," she said.
"The UN agencies can help us, but there are NGOs on the ground that need to be consulted, who know the true stories, and then we can address these issues."