A girl's right to say no to marriage

General Article icon Type: General Article

Child marriage is a violation of children’s human rights. Despite being prohibited by international human rights law and many national laws, child marriage continues to rob millions of girls around the world of their childhood. It forces them out of education and into a life of poor prospects, with increased risk of violence, abuse, ill health or early death. While boys are also married as children, child marriage affects girls in greater numbers and with consequences which can be devastating for their health and well-being.

A global problem

One in three girls in the developing world will be married by their eighteenth birthday.[1] If nothing is done to stop current trends, more than 140 million girls will be married as children by 2020. That’s 14 million every year or nearly 39,000 girls married every day.[2]

Underpinning child marriage is a combination of poverty, gender inequality and a lack of protection for children’s rights. These dr

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