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    Child
    marriage

    Globally, nearly 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 each year. Test your knowledge and learn more about this global issue.

    Take the Quiz
  • Hero

    THEY WILL NEVER
    HOLD THEIR PEACE

    Meet the Wedding Busters. They’re a group of Bangladeshi children on a mission to end child marriage.

    Watch video
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clock Nearly every 2 seconds a girl under 18 is married
num girls have become brides today.
pencil

Nearly 1 in 5 girls in the world are married before 18.

Child marriage can lead to early pregnancies. Approximately 2 million girls under 15 become pregnant every year.

Marrying before 18 can increase the risk of HIV infection in girls.

At current rates, more than 150 million additional girls will marry before their 18th birthday by 2030.


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    1 in 5 girls in the world are said to be married before 18.

  • Child marriage can lead to early pregnancies. Approximately 2 million girls under 15 become pregnant every year.

  • Marrying before 18 can increase the risk of HIV infection in girls.

  • At current rates, more than 150 million additional girls will marry before their 18th birthday by 2030.

What is child marriage?

Child marriage, or early marriage, is any marriage where at least one of the parties is under 18 years of age. Forced marriages are marriages in which one and/or both parties have not personally expressed their full and free consent to the union. A child marriage is considered to be a form of forced marriage, given that one and/or both parties have not expressed full, free and informed consent.

Child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) 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. CEFM threatens the lives and futures of girls and women around the world, robbing them of their agency to make decisions about their lives, disrupting their education, making them more vulnerable to violence, discrimination and abuse, and preventing their full participation in economic, political and social spheres.

Source: OHCHR

10 countries with the highest prevalence rates of child marriage

Top ten places where child marriage happens

6 Reasons child marriage still happens

Test your knowledge of child marriage

Think you have a good understanding of child marriage? Take our short quiz and find out! When you’re done, access exclusive content and deepen your knowledge of this global issue.

Take the Quiz now

How Plan International works to end child marriage

    Education

Economic Empowerment

Improve girls’ access to vocational skills training, helping them pursue a career of their choosing.

    Education

Education

We work with communities and local leaders to raise awareness on the importance of girls’ education.

   Education

Improving Legal Protections

Support and empower girls to advocate for changes in laws that raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 and close loopholes.

    Education

Youth Empowerment

Facilitate youth-led groups that promote children’s rights and equality for girls.

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  • Education

    Education

    We work with communities and local leaders to raise awareness on the importance of girls’ education.

  • Education

    Improving Legal Protections

    Support and empower girls to advocate for changes in laws that raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 and close loopholes.

  • Education

    Economic Empowerment

    Improve girls’ access to vocational skills training, helping them pursue a career of their choosing.

  • Education

    Youth Empowerment

    Facilitate youth-led groups that promote children’s rights and equality for girls.

Success STORIES

Sharina
Forced to mary a stranger: a child bride shares her story

At age 14, Sharina was forced to marry a man she had never met before. Now, she's sharing her personal story and warning against child marriage.

Read More

Yekaba
Nearly married at 12: Meet the girl who stopped her own wedding.

At 12, Yekaba almost married a stranger nearly twice her age. But she knew her rights to say "no" to child marriage. Find out how she stopped her weddding.

Read More

Shalini
Meet the activist who's sopped over a dozen child marriages

Meet Shalini. A girls’ rights activist from India who stopped her own marriage at 17 and has prevented over a dozen child marriages in her community.

Read More

What you can do to help end child marriage