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Former British PM Gordon Brown Publishes Report Examining Child Marriage, Proposes ‘Global Fund For Education’

“Child marriage is a one-way ticket to a life of poverty, illiteracy and powerlessness for girls and the international community needs to take urgent action to stop it,” according to an analysis (.pdf) published Friday by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Guardian reports. “Brown’s review, seen exclusively by the Guardian, says that the issue of child brides has been ‘conspicuous by its absence’ in the efforts to cut global poverty, bring down child and maternal death rates and get children into school, which are stated Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015,” the newspaper notes.

“Brown proposes a new global fund for education, similar to the existing Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to support government programs to help keep young girls and other marginalized children in school,” the Guardian writes (Boseley, 3/9). In a Reuters’ “The Great Debate” blog post, Brown said “governments in countries where child marriage is prevalent should prepare a national strategy for halving, over the next decade, the level of marriage before the age of 18”; called on U.N. agencies, the World Bank, and bilateral and regional agencies to be “more actively engaged and better coordinated in their response to early marriage”; and urged the European Union to “host a global summit on child marriage in 2013” (3/9).