World Fit For Children Goal: End harmful traditional or customary practices, such as early and forced marriage, which violate the rights of children and women
Marriage before the age of 18 is a reality for many young women. According to UNICEF's estimates, over 60 million women aged 20-24 were married or in union before the age of 18.
In many parts of the world, parents encourage the marriage of their daughters while they are still children in hopes that the marriage will benefit the children both financially and socially and relieve financial burdens on the family.
In actuality, child marriage is a violation of human rights, compromising the girls’ development and often resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, with little education and poor vocational training reinforcing the gendered nature of poverty. The right to 'free and full' consent to a marriage is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - with the recognition that consent cannot be 'free and full' when one of the parties involved is not sufficiently mature to make an informed decision about a life partner.