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COVID-19 may result in an additional 10 Million Child Marriages by 2030

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Covid-19 impact additional 10 million child marriagesAccording to  the ‘COVID-19: A threat to progress against Child Marriage’ report compiled by UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) COVID-19 impact could result in additional 10 Million Child Marriages in the next decade (2020-30).

  • The study stated that in the past decade (2010-20), the proportion of young women married as children had declined by 15% globally (from one in four to one in five).
  • The report was released ahead of the International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021.

Factors causing Child Marriage

The study states that school closures, economic stress, pregnancy & parental deaths due to pandemic are putting vulnerable girls at increased risk of child marriage.

Averting Child Marriage

The study has listed some measures to avert Child Marriages. They are

  • Reopening Schools
  • Implementing legal reforms
  • Ensure access to health and social services to protect families.

Child Marriages – India

UN body said persistence of child marriage remains a potential challenge to India achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 by 2030 even as its progress has been one of the strongest among countries in South Asia during the last decade.

The analysis said findings from NFHS surveys between 1992-93 and 2015-16 show the percentage of young women who married in childhood has halved (from 54 to 27 %), and the pace of decline has increased in the last decade.

The decline has been led by urban areas, which only had 18 % of women in the age group of 20-24 reporting (in 2015-16) – as compared to 32 % in rural areas – having got married before the age of 18.

Child Marriages – Region-wise

The report states that around 650 Million Girls & Women who are alive today were married in childhood.

  • Half of such Girls & Women are in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria.

Note – In its previous report, UNICEF said one in three of the world’s child brides live in India.

Ending Child Marriage – UN SDG 

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has set a target to end Child Marriage by 2030.

  • The goals include 10 Million girls who are at present affected by it and also the 100 million girls at risk of becoming child brides before the start of the pandemic.

Recent Related News:

i.On 27th August 2020, UNICEF released a Report which states that at least a third of the world’s school children i.e 463 million children couldn’t not access remote learning amid the closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic.

About UNICEF:
Established – 11 December 1946
Tagline – For Every Child
Director, Secretary of the Executive Board – Mr. Gilles Fagninou