The National Council for Childhood & Motherhood Launches the ‘Policy for Action’ Series with a Policy Brief on ‘Ending Child Marriage’

The “Policy for Action” series is part of NCCM’s efforts, in partnership with UNICEF, to accelerate action to help protect the rights of millions of the most vulnerable children around Egypt.

26 June 2018
The National Council for Childhood & Motherhood Launches the ‘Policy for Action’ Series with a Policy Brief on ‘Ending Child Marriage’
UNICEF/Egypt 2018/Mohamed Abd El-Wahab

Cairo, 26 June 2018 – According to 2017 Egypt census data, nearly 1 in every 20 girls between the age of 15 to 17 years are either currently or have been previously married, as stated in the National Policy Brief on ‘Ending Child Marriage’, produced by The National Council for Childhood & Motherhood Child Rights Observatory. This is a crucial issue for millions of young girls, deeply affecting their lives and their future.

The policy brief on ‘Ending Child Marriage’, which is part of a series of policy briefs titled ‘Policy for Action’, is released today in an event hosted by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and supported by the European Union in Egypt (EU).

It is impossible to tackle properly an issue if it is not documented. The ‘Policy for Action’ series aims at bringing evidence closer to decision makers for the realization of child-wellbeing through better-informed policy decisions and implementation. The series adopts an integrated approach and covers broad areas of policy work related to child protection, health and overall wellbeing.

“Child Marriage denies millions of girls their childhood each year”, said Dr. Azza El Ashmawy, Secretary General of NCCM, adding: “It is widespread and can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation. Without far more intensive and sustained action from all parts of the society, hundreds of millions more girls will suffer profound, permanent, and utterly unnecessary harm; which is why these policy briefs are crucial, because they address issues facing children in Egypt and emphasize the urgency of the issue through a call for action”.

Child marriage is a violation of the rights of girls and women. Girls who are married as children are more likely to be out of school, suffer domestic violence, contract HIV/AIDS and die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. It not only affects the girls’ wellbeing, but also negatively affects the country with evident implications on higher fertility rates, health risks on the children and their mothers due to premature childbearing.

“Empowering girls and women and ensuring children are healthy is at the core of UNICEF’s mission. The global community demonstrates strong commitment to end child marriage by including a target on eliminating it and other harmful practices in the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Egypt. “UNICEF is committed to efforts to end child marriage, and is in a leadership position to provide data and evidence on the issue, to uphold the rights of adolescent girls, so that girls can reach their potential and Egypt can attain its social and economic development goals”.

The policy brief reveals that the legal age of marriage registration in Egypt is set at 18 years, yet, without prosecuting the perpetrators, girls are still getting married without registering or reporting their marriages, or registering their children born out of these marriages.

“Children are Egypt’s valuable capital. The EU allocates significant resources to strengthen the capacity of the relevant national institutions to protect children from all sources of violence”, said Ambassador Ivan Surkoš, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt. He added that the EU supports the role of the Child Rights Observatory of NCCM.  The evidence-based policy briefs such as ending child marriage contribute to more equitable decision-making and hopefully the prevention of all types of child maltreatment in Egypt.

The “Policy for Action” series is part of NCCM’s efforts, in partnership with UNICEF, to accelerate action to help protect the rights of millions of the most vulnerable children around Egypt.

 

###

 

For more information please contact:
 

The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM):

Coordinator of the Social Media Unit: Iman Muhammed Ali, iman.muhammed@outlook.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NCCMEgypt/

European Union:

Press Officer, Spokesperson: Ayman Elsherbiny, ayman.elsherbiny@eeas.europa.eu

Website: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegation/egypt

Twitter: @EUinEgypt

Facebook: http://ww.facebook.com/EUinEgypt

 

Media contacts

Jonathan Crickx
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Egypt
Hala Abu Khatwa
Advocacy & Communications Manager
UNICEF Egypt

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/