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Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse

UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage

© UNICEF/UNI43945/Heavens

More than 700 million girls and women alive today were married as children. This is a human rights violation on a vast scale and a major obstacle to sustainable development. While the practice of child marriage has slowly been declining, particularly for girls under age 15, additional, more concerted efforts are needed to accelerate the pace of change. If there is no reduction in child marriage, up to 280 million more girls alive today are at risk of becoming brides before they turn 18. The effects of population growth mean that this number will approach 320 million by 2050. If current trends continue, the total number of women alive today that were married in childhood will grow from more than 700 million to almost 1 billion women and girls by 2030.

The global momentum and opportunities to make significant progress on ending child marriage have never been more favourable. The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage offers a framework promoting the right of girls to delay marriage, addressing the conditions that keep the practice in place, and caring for girls already in union.

The programme will focus on enabling girls at risk of child marriage to choose and direct their own futures, supporting households in demonstrating positive attitudes towards adolescent girls, and strengthening the systems that deliver services to adolescent girls. It will also seek to ensure laws and policies protect and promote adolescent girls' rights, and highlight the importance of using robust data to inform policies relating to adolescent girls.

The programme targets adolescent girls (ages 10-19) at risk of child marriage or already in union, in 12 selected countries: Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia.





No time to lose: Child marriage (UNICEF video) 

Global Programme to Accelerate Action to end Child Marriage and Civil Society Partners - Webinar - 30 August 2016 (webinar recording) (PowerPoint presentations)

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