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Thursday 17th of October 2019

Press Room

The United Nations launch a new project to shield millions of girls from child marriage

Tuesday 5th of April 2016
Juvenile Justice in the world

On the 8th of March 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage. This new global initiative aims to speed up efforts to eliminate the detrimental practice of child marriage, with a special focus on the dozen Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries with the highest rates of girls wedded before the age of 18.


UNICEF refers to child marriage as “one of the most pernicious manifestations of the unequal power relations between females and males”. Underage brides are frequently forced to leave school and suffer from grave health complications due to pregnancy, childbirth and an increased risk of HIV infection. Therefore, one of the main objectives of the Global Programme will be improving girls¬’ access to education and health care services.

Efforts to educate parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage will also be strengthened, given that these actors are often a driving force behind the arrangement of such unions. Finally, the Programme will accentuate the importance of the efficient implementation and enforcement of legislation that establishes 18 as the lowest legally acceptable age to enter into a marriage. 

The IJJO wholeheartedly supports the United Nations’ endeavours to put an end to child, early and forced marriages and continues to emphasize that these practices constitute a serious violation of numerous provisions in globally accepted human rights treaties such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  


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  • International Juvenile Justice Observatory (IJJO). Belgian Public Utility Foundation

    All rights reserved

  • Head Office: Rue Mercelis, nº 50. 1050. Brussels. Belgium

    Phone: 00 32 262 988 90. Fax: 00 32 262 988 99. oijj@oijj.org

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