UNICEF child marriage study: 23m boys got married before they were 15
12:00 AM, June 09, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:04 AM, June 09, 2019

23m boys got married before they were 15

Unveils Unicef’s global study

An estimated 115 million boys and men around the world were married when they were still children, according to the first-ever analysis on child grooms, launched on Friday by the Unicef.

Twenty-three million among them were married before the age of 15.

Using data from 82 countries, the study brings the overall number of estimated child marriages to 765 million, Unicef revealed.

“Marriage steals childhood,” said Henrietta Fore, executive director of Unicef. “Child grooms are forced to take on adult responsibilities for which they may not be ready.”

The study discovered that child marriage among boys spans sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific.

According to the data, 28 percent of the males in the Central African Republic were married as children, ranking the region first in male child marriages.

At 19 percent, Nicaragua was the second and Madagascar the third, at 13 percent.

“Early marriage brings early fatherhood, and with it added pressure to provide for a family - cutting short education and job opportunities,” Fore elaborated.

Notwithstanding the new information, girls remain disproportionately affected, with 1-in-5 young women between the age of 20 and 24, married before their 18th birthday, compared to 1-in-30 young men.

While the prevalence, causes and impact of child marriage among girls have been extensively studied, little research exists on child marriage among boys, according to UN News.

It is clear though that children most at risk come from the poorest households, live predominantly in rural areas and have little to no education.

“As we mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we need to remember that marrying boys and girls off while they are still children runs counter to the rights enshrined in the Convention,” reminded Fore.

“Through further research, investment and empowerment, we can end this violation,” she asserted.

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