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UNICEF Report: COVID-19 Could Increase Child Marriages Across the Globe

The Effects of COVID-19 on Child Marriage

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of many, and according to a recent analysis from UNICEF, could be the cause of 10 million more child marriages over the next decade.

School closures have kept children at home and away from support systems or friends. Travel restrictions have made it difficult for children to reach health or social services and escape gender-based or domestic violence. Many parents have been laid off, fired and may marry off their children to ease financial burdens for the family. The pandemic has forced many of us to find new tools for survival. We can not let child marriage be one of those tools

Child Marriage’s Risks Are Profound

Children face many risks when married. These include an increased risk for domestic violence and an increased risk of early and unplanned pregnancies for girls. These pregnancies can lead to an increased risk for health complications and mortality. Victims of child marriage are also more likely to miss school or leave all together. This can isolate them from their communities and friends, impacting their mental and emotional wellbeing. Without an education, children have less opportunities and resources to leave their forced marriages later in life. These consequences can lead to lifelong repercussions and trauma.

Advocates Are Making Progress in this Fight

The work that is being done to prevent and end child marriage around the world is working. Over the past ten years the proportion of young women globally who were married as children decreased by 15%—that’s 25 million less children married. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens this promising statistic. The work of advocates has proven to be valuable and effective in combating this human rights abuse. By ensuring that children have access to social and health services, implementing new laws and policies, and raising awareness about this practice, activist can continue the fight against child marriage

Students Against Child Marriage is working to ban child marriage and protect the rights of children. By advocating for policy change and making this issue a household name, we can protect the lives and rights of children. But we need your help!

Get Involved!

Joining this movement couldn’t be easier. Click here to sign-up for our action list and stay up-to-date on our activities. Interested in becoming a part of our team? We’re actively expanding and would love to have you in the Students Against Child Marriage family. Just fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!

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