Marriages under 18 years of age are consistently depriving number of children from their basic rights of health, education and protection across the globe especially in the developing countries. According to latest estimates by UNICEF, worldwide almost 400 million women currently aged 20 to 49 were married or entered into a union when they were under 18 years old. Many of these marriages involved children much younger than 16 years old.
South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have the highest prevalence of child marriage (46 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively). They also show the greatest disparities, with 50 per cent or more of girls belonging to the least advantaged groups being married—that is, girls who live in rural areas, have no education and live in the poorest 20 per cent of households. Lack of awareness on the harmful consequences, poverty, ineffective implementation of related laws and legislations and lack of access especially of females to education are the leading factors behind this increasing practice.
Owing to the situation, Rutgers WPF has initiated a social media campaign “A safer World for Girls” with a thematic focus on curbing the evil practice of child marriages around the globe particularly in Asia in observance of the International Mother’s in May. The organization In this regard, Rutgers WPF seeks to involve CSOs representatives, media persons, youths and other human rights activists of South-Asian countries to jointly raise voice against the issue through joining our online networks.