The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) rights committee on 21 November 2014 adopted the first-ever resolution calling on governments to stop child marriages.
The resolution was presented by Canada and Zambia. The 118 countries sponsored the resolution that includes Mali, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic, which are among the 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage.
The resolution urges all the states to enact laws to end child, early and forced marriages that is to end about 15 million girls worldwide become child brides every year and more than 700 million women are married before the age of 18 globally.
According to the resolution, early marriage is also a serious threat to the physical and psychological health of girls who are not physically mature enough as it increases the risk of unintended pregnancy, maternal and newborn mortality and sexually transmitted infections.
At the UNGA rights committee, Britain took the floor to express disappointment on behalf of some 20 countries over the failure of earlier resolution to address girl’s education about their sexuality.
According UN statistics, child marriage among girls is most common in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa especially in Niger, Bangladesh and India countries.
• In Niger, West Africa has the highest overall rate that is 77 percent of women between 20 and 49 were married before the age of 18.
• Bangladesh has the most girls who married under 15 and India is home to one third of all child brides worldwide.
The resolution will go to the full UN General Assembly for formal approval in December 2014 and then the resolution is not legally binding but can increase political pressure on countries.
When: 21 November 2014
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