UNFPA, UNICEF launched Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage
It will support those already married as girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East where child marriage rates are high.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on 8 March 2016 jointly launched the Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage.
It is a multi-country initiative and is part of a global effort to prevent girls from marrying too young.
Features of the Programme
• It will help protect the rights of millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls by involving families, communities, governments and young people.
• It will support those already married as girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East where child marriage rates are high.
• As part of this global programme, both the agencies will work with governments of countries with a high prevalence of child marriage
• 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 focus on proven strategies, including increasing girls’ access to education and health care services, educating parents and communities on the dangers of child marriage.
• 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.
Significance of the Programme
• Child marriage is a violation of the rights of girls and women.
• Girls who are married as children are more likely to be out of school, suffer domestic violence, contract HIV/AIDS and die due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
• The successful execution of the programme is critical because it affects 15 million girls a year.
• 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.
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