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Over 50 mln child marriages could be prevented if girls finished school

by Lin Taylor | @linnytayls | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 11 October 2018 01:00 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Boys and girls from the Saraniya community wearing garlands pose for pictures after their engagement ceremony at Vadia village in the western Indian state of Gujarat March 11, 2012. REUTERS/Amit Dave

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Children married young tend to leave school, have limited economic opportunities, are vulnerable to abuse and mental health problems

By Lin Taylor

LONDON, Oct 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 50 million child marriages could be prevented by 2030 if all girls finished secondary school, the charity Save the Children said on Thursday.

Campaigners say children married young tend to leave school, have limited economic opportunities, are vulnerable to abuse and mental health problems and are more likely to live in poverty than those who marry later.

Invest in children's health and education to spur economic growth - World Bank

Here are more facts to mark International Day of the Girl:

- Worldwide, about 15 million girls aged 15 to 19 have experienced forced sex.

- In Britain, two-thirds of girls surveyed by Plan International said they had experienced unwanted sexual attention or contact in a public place.

- Every week, 7,000 girls between 15 and 24 are infected with HIV.

- More than 200 million girls and women have experienced female genital mutilation around the world.

- Nearly 3 million girls have been displaced by war.

- Girls in conflict zones are more than twice as likely to be out of school than girls in peaceful countries.

- About 62 million girls of primary and lower secondary school age are not in school.

- Based on current trends, almost 10 million girls will marry in 2030 alone, and more than 2 million of those brides will be under the age of 15.

- Every year, 12 million girls are married off before they turn 18 and one in five become mothers before the age of 18.

SOURCES: UNICEF, Plan International, World Health Organization, Care International, Save the Children

(Reporting by Lin Taylor @linnytayls, Editing by Katy Migiro; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters that covers humanitarian issues, conflicts, land and property rights, modern slavery and human trafficking, gender equality, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org to see more stories)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.