Thursday, June 17, 2021
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HomeWorldCommunities See Child Marriage Double During COVID-19 Pandemic

Communities See Child Marriage Double During COVID-19 Pandemic


Child marriages from March to December 2020
were up more than 100% on 2019 in the communities World
Vision surveyed

  • The
    international aid agency warns that these alarming rates are
    set to rise, due to the ongoing impact of the COVID 19
    outbreak
  • COVID-19 has
    generated the largest increase in child marriages in 25
    years

A new report, ‘Breaking the
Chain’, published today by World Vision reveals that child
marriage more than doubled in several communities from
March-December 2019 to the same period in 2020. This follows
the aid agency’s predictions that deepening poverty in the
aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak will leave millions more
girls at risk of child marriage.

World Vision staff
responded to more than twice as many child marriage reports
during the coronavirus outbreak than the year before. The
aid agency suggests this surge in child marriage is likely
due to loss of income during the pandemic, rising poverty
and lack of access to education and support
services.

Dana Buzducea from World Vision
International said: “It is heart-breaking that 12 million
girls are married each year. Every one of these is a tragedy
with far-reaching effects – empty seats in classrooms,
girls treated as a commodity, lost economic and human
potential. We know that economic desperation within
families, poverty and harmful attitudes are some of the
factors that drive child marriage, particularly in the most
fragile places in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and
lockdowns have increased the pressure on families,
threatening girls’ rights to live a safe childhood and
realise their potential.

World Vision is urging the
international community to work together to raise the
minimum age of marriage to 18 years old and to ensure child
marriage prevention laws are enforced.

“Millions
more girls could be married off because of this pandemic,”
Dana Buzducea says, “And we are already seeing this in
several communities. We can’t afford to wait; more futures
will be ruined unless crucial changes are made to protect
young girls.

Note to editor:

The
report, Breaking the Chain, compiles
research and data from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Senegal and
Uganda – where World Vision has been working to address
the issue of child marriage. In each of these countries,
case studies were developed using first-hand accounts, a
desk review of available data and evidence of promising
practices towards eliminating child marriage.

Download
the report here

 

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