The Issue Of Child Marriage

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Introduction In the United States, marriage is seen as a sacred and consensual institution, but in developing countries, many children are introduced to marriage in a different manner. According to the United Nations Population Fund, one girl in every three is married before the age of eighteen in developing countries (Child Marriage, 1). Are the measures previously taken by the International Law community that attempt to put and end to child marriages an effective measure to stop this violation of human rights? I argue that, although there are substantial International Law actions already attempted at ending this barbarism, I do not believe that they are enough to prevent the circumstances that child marriages spring from, including…show more content…
Finally, I will explain potential solutions for this issue and what the international community should be doing. During my research, I find that the current attempt to stop child marriages is weak and a great deal of the fight is emerging from non-profit organizations, which can only do so much to fight the issue. I find that the main reason that this occurs throughout the world is because of the exceptions allowed, contrary to the minimum age of 18 for marriage in most countries. Because this is a severe human rights issue on children, the International Law community should step in further and move this up in the agenda to fight and prevent the perpetrators causing such atrocities.

Background According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, child marriages, marriages where at least one of the parties is under the age of 18, began when mothers and families started to force their teenage daughters into marriage at an early age to prevent them from rape as well as to secure a safe economic future for their daughters (Child Marriage and the Law, 1). This issue is very prevalent in countries such as Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Niger, being the most prevalent country, is reported to have “every three in four girls married before their 18th birthday” (Where Does It Happen, Girls Not Brides). In addition to this heavy statistic, Girls Not Brides also reports that globally “more than 30% of today’s women were married before their 18th
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