The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme (sic) to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, unveiled in March on International Women’s Day, is part of a global efforts to prevent girls from marrying too young and to support those girls who have already been married in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Child marriage rates are high in these regions. The goal is to end child marriages and protect the rights of society’s most vulnerable citizens, according to UNICEF.
The new global program will focus on increasing girls’ access to education and health care services, educating parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage, increasing economic support to families and strengthening and enforcing laws that establish 18 as the minimum age of marriage, UNICEF said.
“This new global programme (sic) will help drive action to reach the girls at greatest risk and help more girls and young women realize their right to dictate their own destinies,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “This is critical now because if current trends continue, the number of girls and women married as children will reach nearly 1 billion by 2030.”
UNICEF terms child marriage to be a violation of the rights of girls and women, stating that girls who are married as children are more likely to be out of school, suffer domestic violence, contrac