The event was on the side-lines of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa in line with the 2017 AU theme “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth.
Child marriage is a violation of human rights, but is all too common.
Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights. Many factors interact to place a girl at risk of marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family honour, social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice, an inadequate legislative framework and the state of a country’s civil registration system.
Child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling, limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence. Child marriage also affects boys, but to a lesser degree than girls.