Human Traffic Watch

Child and Forced Marriages

In Child Marriage, Forced marriage, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on January 30, 2013 at 9:00 am

Girls for sale

  • Child marriages are illegal but widespread in Afghanistan. They happen mainly in rural areas, especially near Pakistan
  • They are usually aimed at strengthening ties with rival families and tribes, as part of deals or to settle debts and disputes
  • Poor families often end up selling daughters for large dowries from wealthy people – the husbands are usually much older
  • Decisions to sell off girls for marriage are made by men – wives, mothers and sisters have little or no say
  • Few people report them because they think it brings shame on the family
  • Very young girls sold as brides may initially be raised as children by the family that bought them. Others have been victims of child sexual abuse

What is it like to be a child bride?

Child marriages

  • There are 10 million child marriages a year worldwide
  • There are at least 50 million married child couples around the world and this will double by the end of the decade
  • The top three countries with the highest proportion of child brides are Niger, Chad and Mali
  • Bangladesh is fourth and India is 13th in the world table of child marriage statistics by proportion
  • An estimated 14 million adolescents between 15 and 19 give birth each year. Girls in this age group are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their 20s

Source: BBC, BBC

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