There has been a significant drop in the number of child marriages worldwide and India contributed significantly to the global decline in the practice, the UN children’s agency Unicef said in New York today.
According to the Unicef, 25 million child marriages were prevented in the past decade. South Asia witnessed the largest decline in child marriage worldwide in the last 10 years as a girl’s risk of marrying before turning 18 dropped by more than a third, from nearly 50 per cent to 30 per cent, in large part due to progress in India.
Increasing rates of girls’ education, proactive government investments in adolescent girls and strong public messaging around the illegality of child marriage and the harm it causes were among the reasons for the shift, the agency said.
One in five girls are now married before they are 18, compared with one in four a decade ago.