Child marriage is any formal marriage or informal union where one or both the parties are under 18 years of age.
Did you know that each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 28 girls every minute, 1 every 2 seconds.
Child marriage happens in practically all countries, cultures, and religions. More than 700 million women, and over 150 million men, already suffer the consequences of child marriage. If we cannot get the numbers to drop soon, the global number of women married as children will reach 1.2 billion by 2050, with terrible consequences for the whole world. Child marriage looks different from one community to the next. Solutions to stop child marriage must be local and adapted to local needs and circumstances.
Swati from India was forced to marry at 15. She was violently abused and forced to work day and night by her husbands family, but finally escaped and hid in her home village, with her family. She says: ‘I will never go back, and I won’t let my sisters marry too young’.
Learn more about Swati.
On a region level, the African Union and the South Asia Initiative to End Violence against Children have launched initiatives to end child marriage and support married girls. And many countries are developing national action plans to end child marriage, in partnership with civil society, UN agencies and girls themselves.
Source: Girls not Brides and Unicef.