If we don’t act now, more than 140 million girls will become child brides by 2020.
What is child marriage?
Child marriage is a violation of children’s human rights. Despite being prohibited by international law, it continues to rob millions of girls under 18 around the world of their childhood. It forces them out of education and into a life of poor prospects, with increased risk of violence, abuse, ill health or early death.
In the week Africa's leaders meet in Zambia for the first ever African Union summit on child marriage, this video explores the issues affecting the continent's 7 million child brides and how Plan International is helping girls to say no to marriage.
Why does it happen?
Where does it happen?
Child marriage is most common in South Asia and West and Central Africa, where 46% and 41% of girls become child brides respectively. Among girls growing up in Latin America and the Caribbean, 29% experience child marriage, compared with 18% in East Asia and the Pacific, 15% in the Arab States and 11% in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
What are the consequences?
Early pregnancy is one of the most dangerous causes and consequences of child marriage. Girls married early are more likely to experience violence, abuse and forced sexual relations. They are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (including HIV).
Going to school gives girls choices and opportunities in life, allowing them to play an active role in their communities and break the cycle of poverty. Girls who are married are unlikely to be in school - or likely to be pulled out of school if they are there in the first place.
How does Plan International support young people affected by child marriage?
Plan International’s Because I am a Girl campaign works at local, national and international levels to enable millions of girls to avoid early and forced marriage, stay in school and benefit from a quality education.
What you can do to stop child marriage
Raise awareness and tweet this
"If we don't act now, more than 140 million girls will become child brides by 2020. https://plan-international.org/child-marriage #endchildmarriage." Tweet this
"Every 2 seconds a girl becomes a child bride. Stop the clock - #endchildmarriage https://plan-international.org/child-marriage." Tweet this
Join our campaign
Learn more about the Plan International Because I am a Girl campaign.
Download our report
Evidence shows that entrenched traditions and views are still forcing young girls into early marriage. Learn how you can help stop child marriage in Plan International’s comprehensive survey of child marriage in Asia.