Ending child marriage: A guide for global policy action


The persistent neglect of the plight of child brides in parts of South Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America is a direct reflection of the failure of our collective responsibility to protect the human rights of vulnerable young people. The silenced voices of the many millions of young women and girls forced into marriage before their eighteenth birthday signify complacency and discrimination. Most countries have laws on the minimum age of marriage, but they are largely ineffective, not enforced or operate alongside customary and religious laws. Traditions and cultural norms which rule the social lives of many practising communities in the developing world should not be used as an excuse to neglect the duty to protect, respect and fulfil the rights of young women.


International Planned Parenthood Federation



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