SOLYMONE BLOG

BRITAIN CALLED TO HELP END CHILD MARRIAGE


This picture of Raja, 16, and child bride Sintu, 15, from Rajasthan in India is used for illustrative purposes only.
LONDON, U.K. - One girl below the age of 18 is married off every three seconds worldwide, according to a community development charity, which is calling for the British government to help end child marriage.
Plan UK will publish a report this week entitled Breaking Vows, which states that ten million under-18s become child brides every year. In developing countries in South America, North Africa and parts of Asia, one in three under-18 year olds, and one in seven of all girls under 15, are married.
  • Rates of early and forced marriage are also high in Europe, with the highest percentages in central and eastern Europe where 2.2 million girls have married before their 18th birthday.
  • The highest rates are in Georgia (17 per cent) and Turkey (14 per cent). At least 10 per cent of adolescents marry before the age of 18 in Britain and France which confirms, says Plan UK, that early marriage is of global concern. The UK governments Forced Marriage Unit received more than 1,700 calls from girls at risk last year.
  • Allowing people to marry under the age of 18 is against UN conventions and the practice is outlawed in most countries but others are turning a blind eye, especially in poorer communities. But the consequences for both the child and their future children are dire. It not only keeps them trapped in a cycle of poverty but creates health issues and even death.
The children of young mothers are also at much greater risk. When a mother is under 18, her baby is 60 per cent more likely to die before its first birthday than that of a baby born to a mother older than 19.
Source: Agency
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