Eradicating child marriage has long been on the agenda of the United Nations and of individual countries. Indeed, all countries where child marriage occurs are signatories to international charters and covenants that discourage the practice. Despite these agreements, marriage before age 18—often without the young bride’s consent—persists. Population Council researchers are seeking to prevent child marriage and support married girls in several countries, including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Vietnam. Programs include expanding opportunities (education, livelihoods) for girls, especially those most at risk of early marriage, and working directly with gatekeepers to remove barriers that prevent girls from accessing those opportunities. Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief No. 14 examines Council programs that have addressed child marriage, including: Kishori Abhijan (Bangladesh), Berhane Hewan (Ethiopia), and Abriendo Oportunidades (Guatemala). Such programs also seek to expand opportunities for girls and limit the constraints to economic empowerment that compel girls and their families to choose early marriage and childbearing.
Amin, Sajeda. 2011. "Programs to address child marriage: Framing the problem," Promoting Healthy, Safe, and Productive Transitions to Adulthood Brief no. 14. New York: Population Council.
Abriendo Oportunidades (“Opening Opportunities”)