Ending child marriage, empowering girls
A joint discussion brief from UNICEF and UNFPA in Viet Nam on child marriage in Viet Nam
In Viet Nam, child marriage continues to be a persistent issue. One-in-10 Vietnamese women aged 20-24 years in 2014 was found to be married or in union before their 18th birthday. There has been no substantial decrease in the prevalence of child marriage. While its prevalence varies across geographic areas, girls from all regions of Viet Nam and all layers of society are vulnerable to becoming a child bride. In Viet Nam, child marriage assumes different forms and is undertaken for different reasons. To successfully end this harmful practice, interventions must be carefully tailored to local reality.
In line with the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, UNFPA and UNICEF have been joined by UN Women to collectively work and advocate for holistic and integrated actions for the prevention of child marriage and early union in Viet Nam. In October 2016, the Vietnamese Government and the United Nations held a multi-stakeholder National Conference on Child Marriage to review gaps in policy and interventions. In June 2017, a follow-up multi-stakeholder conference was held on “Preventing and Ending Child and Early Marriage: Learning from Promising Strategies and Good Practices”.
This discussion paper builds on the outcomes of these conferences and research on child marriage and early union in Viet Nam. It presents unique insights into the prevalence and the girls most at risk as well as the unique features and driving factors of child marriage and early union. The paper also suggests entry points for the development of holistic and targeted interventions to prevent child mar-riage and early union in Viet Nam. To this end, it provides specific recommendations on how laws and policies could be enhanced to better reflect the protection of the rights of children under the age of 18 years.