Protecting the Girl Child: Using the Law to End Child, Early and Forced Marriage and Related Human Rights Violations

Equality Now
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Building on the body of Equality Now’s work for the protection of girls’ and women’s rights, this report illustrates the impact of child marriage through 11 case studies and includes an analysis of the laws and issues surrounding child marriage from 18 countries. The report was written in conjunction with pro bono support from TrustLaw Connect and carried out by law firm Latham & Watkins, in collaboration with AQLAAL Advocates (Pakistan), Ashurst Australia (Papua New Guinea), Bafakih & Nassief Lawyers and Legal Consultants (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Kamal Hossain & Associates (Bangladesh), Kirthi Jayakumar (India), MMAKS Advocates (Uganda), P&A Asia (Cambodia), Tilleke & Gibbins (Thailand) and Webber Wentzel (Swaziland). This report explains that equality is the right of all people, and gender equality is key to achieving progress in the post-2015 development framework and any and all global development goals, including: health, education, economic empowerment, the environment, and good governance. The report also explains that there is a direct correlation between higher minimum age of marriage laws and a lower incidence of child marriage. Furthermore, implementation of a strong legal framework at the national level based on human rights standards alongside a broad effort to transform gender relations is central to sustainable development.

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