Child marriage refers to any formal marriage or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child. While the prevalence of child marriage has decreased worldwide – from one in four girls married a decade ago to approximately one in five today – the practice remains widespread. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals call for global action to end this human rights violation by 2030.
If efforts are not accelerated, more than 150 million girls will marry before their eighteenth birthday by 2030.
Child marriage is often the result of entrenched gender inequality, making girls disproportionately affected by the practice. Globally, the prevalence of child marriage among boys is just one fifth that among girls.