Early and Forced Childhood Marriage
Child marriage impacts 15 million girls each year, or 41,000 girls every day in lower-income countries.
Child marriage is a human rights violation under international law and is also prohibited in many countries with child marriage prevalence. However, existing laws are often not enforced or provide exceptions for parental consent or traditional and customary laws.
Child marriage is a harmful practice that deprives girls of their right to choose if, when, and whom to marry and what type of family to create. It also deprives girls of their rights to education, to health, and to live in security. Child marriage predominately affects girls and impacts every aspect of a girls’ life. Girls who marry early are denied their childhood. Once married, child brides have little or no access to education and economic opportunities, and they and their families are more likely to live in poverty. Child brides also face a higher risk of experiencing dangerous, life-threatening complications in pregnancy, contracting HIV, and suffering domestic and sexual violence.