10 million girls will be married too young or against their will this year – some as young as five years old. Plan UK is trying to change this with a campaign to end child marriage
10 million girls will be married too young or against their will this year – some as young as five years old.
This ends their chances of going to school and can shorten their lives by leaving them vulnerable to violence, HIV and death in childbirth.
Children in North Africa, South America and parts of Asia are especially vulnerable with one in seven girls forced into marriage before their 15th birthday.
But the problem’s also closer to home, with two million girls in Eastern Europe forced to marry below the age of 18 last year.
Plan UK, the children's rights charity, is calling on the government to help end child marriage.
Researchers from the charity interviewed girls from around the world who have been married off as young as 10, often to much older men. Many were kidnapped, abused and raped by their so-called 'husbands' and as Plan UK's chief executive, Marie Staunton, says, ‘child marriage is child abuse.’
'Child marriage is one of the biggest development issues of our time,' says Marie. 'We hope Marie Claire readers will take a vow in support of our campaign to end the forced, early marriage of girls in poorer parts of the world.'
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