Delaware Ends Child Marriage; 49 To Go and Counting – HRW

Heather Barr is a Senior Researcher in the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. In this piece she exposes the reality of child marriage in the United States and points out risks associated with marriage at a young age.

On May 9, Delaware’s governor signed a bill prohibiting marriage before age 18, making it the first US state to ban all child marriage. This is a crucial step toward ending child marriage in the US and around the world.

Child marriage occurs in every region of the world. Globally, 15 million girls under 18 marry each year – one every two seconds. The overwhelming majority of married children are girls, most marrying older men – in some cases much older. Children are often forced or coerced to marry.

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