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African Nations Must Work To End Child Marriage

Inter Press Service: Why Ending Child Marriage in Africa Can No Longer Wait
Julitta Onabanjo, regional director of UNFPA East and Southern Africa Region; Benoit Kalasa, regional director of UNFPA West and Central Africa; and Mohamed Abdel-Ahad, regional director of UNFPA North Africa and Arab States

“…Of the 41 countries worldwide with a child marriage prevalence rate of 30 percent or more, 30 countries are located in Africa. … [C]hild marriage has a severe and harmful impact on our girls, and on society at large. It compromises the girl child’s health, education, and opportunities to realize her potential. … Child marriage is a human rights and public health issue, which cannot be left unchallenged. First and foremost, it is a violation of human rights instruments, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. It is therefore an obligation of policymakers on the continent to protect the rights of the girl child that their governments have committed themselves to uphold. This includes putting an end to child marriage…” (5/28).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.