The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) jointly launched the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.
- The programme is a multi country cooperative and it will help protect the rights of millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls by involving families, communities, governments and young people
- As part of this global programme, both the agencies will work with governments of countries with a high prevalence of child marriage
- It will support those married girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East where child marriage rates are high
- It seeks to uphold the rights of adolescent girls, so that girls can reach their potential and countries can attain their social and economic development goals
- It will strive towards increasing economic support to families and strengthening and enforcing laws that establish 18 as the minimum age of marriage
- It will emphasize the importance of using robust data to inform policies related to adolescent girls
- It is being supported by Canada, the European Union, Italy, Netherlands, and the UK
- If current trends continue, the number of girls and women married as children will reach nearly 1 billion by 2030.
- Child marriage hurts economies and leads to intergenerational cycles of poverty.
- The programme supports the Target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals that vouches for elimination of child marriage by 2030
- The Target 5.3 mandates elimination of all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilations