Child/Early marriage refers to any marriage of a child younger
than 18 years old, in accordance to Article 1 of the Convention
on the Right of the Child. While child marriage affects both
sexes, girls are disproportionately affected as they are the
majority of the victims. Their overall development is
compromised, leaving them socially isolated with little
education, skills and opportunities for employment and
self-realisation. This leaves child brides more vulnerable to
poverty, a consequence of child marriage as well as a cause.
Child marriage is now widely recognised as a violation of
children's rights, a direct form of discrimination against the
girl child who as a result of the practice is often deprived of
her basic rights to health, education, development and equality.
Tradition, religion and poverty continue to fuel the practice of
child marriage, despite its strong association with adverse
reproductive health outcomes and the lack of education of