By The Nation
“Teenage Mom” portrays the lives of adolescent characters as they encounter new emotions and sexual experiences.
The special episodes, launched on August 20, aim to educate adolescents on how to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. They also provide information on how and where youngsters can access professional advice and youth-friendly services.
“While adolescents enjoy reading online cartoons like ‘Teenage Mom’, we need to give them access to the information they need to make informed decisions and enable them to lead safe and healthy sexual lives,” said Valerie Taton, Deputy Representative for UNICEF Thailand.
“We are thrilled to be working with LINE WEBTOON and with the author of this series to bring this critical information to adolescents in a way that captures their attention.”
Hana Cha, General Manager of Southeast Asia LINE WEBTOON, said: “We are delighted to be part of this great opportunity to help distribute education on sexuality to teenagers through the ‘Roo Sak Nid Korn Kid Ja Rak’ series from LINE WEBTOON. It is a story that uses the main characters from ‘Teenage Mom”, an online cartoon that is the most viewed by LINE WEBTOON users. We are sure that the ‘Roo Sak Nid Korn Kid Ja Rak’ series will provide very useful information for viewers.”
The adolescent birth rate in Thailand is a major concern. For every 1,000 female adolescents aged 15–19 years, 51 give birth, according to the 2016 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, conducted by the National Statistical Office with support from UNICEF. Earlier this year, another UNICEF-supported study showed that sexuality education in Thai schools fails to equip students with the skills they need to adequately manage their sexuality and sexual rights.
The first episode of ‘Teenage Mom’ was launched last year and became the most popular online cartoon on the LINE WEBTOON platform with more than 1.6 million followers, primarily adolescents and young people. The newest episode can be found on www.webtoons.com/th or the LINE WEBTOON application. The cartoon was also made into a TV series that airs on LINE TV at 7pm every Saturday.