Preventing Child Marriage

ICRW is a leader among organizations advocating for the United States to become more involved in curbing child marriage. ICRW is working with the U.S. Congress and the administration to raise the profile of this issue and bring more national and international support to end this harmful traditional practice.

On May 24, 2012, the United States Senate passed the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act (S.414). The bill was passed unanimously by voice vote, demonstrating strong bipartisan support for an end to child marriage, a practice that denies 14 million girls a year their rights to health, education and security.

The legislation contains the same provisions that unanimously passed the Senate in 2010. The legislation would authorize U.S. foreign assistance funding to prevent child marriage and provide educational and economic opportunities to girls in the developing world. The policy would help protect girls’ human rights by:

  • Establishing a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage in developing countries and promote the empowerment of girls at risk of child marriage
     
  • Requiring the State Department to report on this harmful practice in its annual human rights report
     
  • Integrating child marriage prevention efforts into existing development programs

ICRW has advocated for the passage of the child marriage prevention bill since 2006, and continues to work with Congress and the administration to find evidence-based solutions to this gross human rights violation. 

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Suzanne Petroni, senior director of gender, population and development at ICRW spoke live on-air to Al Jazeera America about the prevalence of child marriage, the consequences to girls and societies...
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In honor of the Day of the African Child, ICRW's Lyric Thompson writes for Trust.org on how youth advocates throughout Africa are taking the lead on efforts to end child marriage across the continent.
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ICRW was cited in a Forbes article on the importance of using digital activism, including hashtag campaigns on twitter, to spread the word about challenges facing women and girls worldwide.
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