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World Observes First International Day Of The Girl Child

On the first annual International Day of the Girl Child, observed October 11, “UNICEF and partners are highlighting joint efforts to end child marriage — a fundamental human rights violation that impacts all aspects of a girl’s life,” the Times of India reports. “[A] series of events and actions are taking place throughout the world to draw attention to this critically important issue,” a UNICEF press statement says, noting, “At U.N. Headquarters in New York, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will join UNICEF, UNFPA, and U.N. Women to discuss ways governments, civil society, U.N. agencies, and the private sector can come together to accelerate a decline in the practice of child marriage” (Gohain, 10/10).

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “announced new government and private initiatives to prevent child marriage and promote the education of girls, including mandatory reporting of the minimum legal age for marriage and the rate of child marriage in the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,” the Washington Post adds (Rein, 10/10). In a separate article, Devex outlines “new funding pledges for global efforts to end the practice of early child marriages around the world by 2023” (Mungcal, 10/11). The Global Press Institute published a series in recognition of the day, including an article examining efforts to rehabilitate female drug users in Nepal, an article on sex education in Haiti, and an article profiling a rescue center for pregnant teenagers in Kenya, among others (October 2012).

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