child marriage

GC: n

S: CFR – (last access: 15 November 2018); RHJ – (last access: 15 November 2018).

N: 1. – child (n): Old English cild “fetus, infant, unborn or newly born person,” from Proto-Germanic *kiltham (source also of Gothic kilþei “womb,” inkilþo “pregnant;” Danish kuld “children of the same marriage;” Old Swedish kulder “litter;” Old English cildhama “womb,” lit. “child-home”); no certain cognates outside Germanic. “Apparently originally always used in relation to the mother as the ‘fruit of the womb'”. Also in late Old English, “a youth of gentle birth” (archaic, usually written childe). In 16c.-17c. especially “girl child.” A boy or girl from the time of birth until he or she is an adult, or a son or daughter of any age.
– marriage (n): c. 1300, “action of marrying, entry into wedlock;” also “state or condition of being husband and wife, matrimony, wedlock;” from Old French mariage “marriage; dowry” (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *maritaticum (11c.), from Latin maritatus, past participle of maritatre “to wed, marry, give in marriage”. A legally accepted relationship between two people in which they live together, or the official ceremony.
2. Formal marriage or informal union where one or both where one or both parties are under 18 years of age.
3. Child marriage is a human rights violation and a harmful practice that disproportionately affects women and girls globally, preventing them from living their lives free from all forms of violence.
4. ECPAT International and Plan International argues that early marriage acts as a major channel to child sexual exploitation, and can also amount to a form of sexual exploitation of children in itself.
5. Worldwide, more than 650 million women alive today were married as children. An estimated 12 million girls under 18 are married each year. South Asia is still home to the largest number of child brides, followed by sub-Saharan Africa.
6. Many factors interact to place a girl at risk of marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family honour, social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice, an inadequate legislative framework and the state of a country’s civil registration system.
7. Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence. Young teenage girls are more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s; their infants are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first month of life. Child brides are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. In addition, married girls are more likely to become infected with STDs. Finally, child marriage often results in separation from family and friends and lack of freedom to participate in community activities, which can all have major consequences on girls’ mental and physical well-being.
8. The issue of child marriage is addressed in a number of international conventions and agreements. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, for example, covers the right to protection from child marriage in article 16, which states: “The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage….” The right to ‘free and full’ consent to marriage is recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says that consent cannot be ‘free and full’ when one of the parties involved is not sufficiently mature to make an informed decision about a life partner. Although marriage is not mentioned directly in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, child marriage is linked to other rights – such as the right to freedom of expression, the right to protection from all forms of abuse, and the right to be protected from harmful traditional practices – and is frequently addressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Other international agreements related to child marriage are the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
9. Cultural Interrelation: The book I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced (2010), written by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui, tells the story of how Nujood’s childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 15 November 2018); CD – (last access: 15 November 2018); (last access: 15 November 2018). 2. GNB – (last access: 15 November 2018). 3. OHCHR – (last access: 15 November 2018). 4. ECPAT – (last access: 15 November 2018). 5. UNICEF – (last access: 15 November 2018); (last access: 15 November 2018). 6. UNICEF – (last access: 15 November 2018). 7. UNICEF – (last access: 15 November 2018); NCBI – (last access: 15 November 2018). 8. UNICEF – (last access: 15 November 2018). 9. Amazon – (last access: 15 November 2018).

SYN: early marriage

S: OHCHR – (last access: 15 November 2018).

RC: human rights, violation of human rights.