Girls Under 18 Who are Married Around the World

in Transnational Crime

According to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW),  there are an estimated 51 million girls under the age of 18 who are married worldwide.

In addition to the minors who are already married, the ICRW estimates that an underage girl gets married every three seconds, or 10 million child marriages during the year.

In countries such as Pakistan, there is an illegal custom called Swara where young girls are forcibly married off to settle family and tribal disputes. According to figures collected by activists, at least 180 cases of young girls being forced into marriage occur. An article by Foreign Policy magazine reported on a 5 year old girl who was married off to an older man as compensation.

70 percent of girls in Pakistan are married before they reach the age of 16, according to UNICEF.

Source:  Adriana Carranca, “Malala’s Forgotten Sisters,” Foreign Policy, July 12, 2013.

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