The pandemic could lead to another 10 million child marriages

The UNICEF Fund warns today

The pandemic could lead to another 10 million child marriages

The impact of the new coronavirus pandemic could lead to the marriages of 10 million children by 2030, the UNICEF Fund warns today, according to which another 100 million girls are already at risk of getting married before the end of the decade.

Marriages of girls under the age of 18 will be a consequence of many factors associated with the crisis caused by the pandemic: mainly school closures, rapidly deteriorating economic conditions, public service problems and parental deaths, according to UNICEF.

The pandemic "has exacerbated an already difficult situation for millions of girls," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta For said in a press release issued today by the UN agency. "But we can and must end child marriage."

The pandemic threatens to call into question the progress made over the past decade, during which the percentage of young girls marrying before the age of 18 fell from a quarter to a fifth in the world, in other words 25 million were avoided. such marriages.

"We must take immediate action to reduce the effects (of the pandemic) on girls and their families," said Henrietta For. "By opening schools" and "ensuring access to care and social services" and "enforcing laws and appropriate policies", "we can reduce the risk of marriages stealing little girls' childhood", he adds.

According to UNICEF, 650 young girls and young women internationally are married before the age of 18. Half of these marriages have taken place in five countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria.

According to data released by UNICEF in 2020, the percentage of girls who marry before the age of 18 reaches 76% in Niger and 68% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The percentage of boys who get married before the age of 18 is about one sixth of what is recorded among girls.