Child marriage is child abuse

“Child marriage is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. We want to alert and raise awareness on the negative effects of child marriage on girls and the society as a whole.” – Anne Stenhammer, regional programme director of UN Women.

“Child marriage is not a solution to protecting girls from sexual crimes including rape.” – Krishna Tirath, heads of four UN agencies in India — UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women and UN Information Centre.

“No country can afford the lost opportunity, waste of talent or personal exploitation that child marriage causes.” – Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director, UN’s population fund.

“By 2020, 142 million innocent young girls worldwide will be separated from their friends and family, deprived of an education and put in harm’s way because of child marriage.”
-Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary-General.

UN women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) declares:

The practice of child marriage has gradually diminished over the years, but is still widespread in many parts of the world. In the developing world, 36 per cent of women aged 20-24 report that they were married or in union before they reached 18 years of age. More than 60% of women were married before they reached the age of 18 in five countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and in Bangladesh. In Niger, which has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, one in three girls is married before the age of 15, and 75 per cent of women aged 20 to 24 are married before age 18. Overall, more than 60 million women aged 20-24 were married or in union before age 18. Each year, 10 million children are forced into marriage. In India, 44.5% of girls are married before the age of 18. 16 other countries do even worse. Niger, Chad, Mali, Bangladesh, Guinea, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Nepal, Ethiopia,Malawi, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Eritrea, Uganda.

‘Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk to be a victim of violence and jeopardizes her health. Child marriage is the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls.’

‘In Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal, child marriage concerns 3 out of 5 girls. India has the highest absolute number of child brides – about 24 million. This represents 40% of the 60 million child marriages globally.’ -Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF India chief said.

Female children are forced to marry elderly men too. Pedophilia is a widely-accepted practice in many parts of the world. Girls who are victims of child marriages often suffer from obstetric fistula. They are exposed to serious health risks like premature pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS.

Child marriage is child abuse. Child abusers believe they have the right to abuse their children only because they have given birth to them. As if children are their toys. But they must know that children are not their toys. Children are not their properties either. They have no right to destroy the lives of their children.

(In many countries there are two different legal ages of marriage for men & women. They lower the marriageable age for women. What a stupid discriminatory system! Many people say ‘women’s mental growth is more than men’ or ‘women’s maturity comes earlier’ to justify lowering women’s marriageable age. But why is it applied only in marriage, but not in jobs etc? The truth is, society is full of pedophiles! Some reveal, others hide.)


  1. pramod says

    I think the only solution to a lot of these problems is education, economic development and the empowerment of women. All of this correlates strongly with the economic growth of the country itself, which in turn, is unlikely to happen if the westerners continue to treat the people of non-white countries as second-class humans.

  2. No Light says

    Thank you.

    Child marriage must stop. Putting a ring on a girl’s finger doesn’t diminish the severity of the abuse.

  3. tan says

    And even after knowing all these facts its disappointing that india did not sign the first ever global resolution to stop forced and early marriage of children led by the UN . 107 countries have signed this resoulution but sadly india is not among them .


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