Toward an End to Child Marriage

New Study from UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center and Save the Children: What Works to Prevent Child Marriage in development and humanitarian settings?

UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, in partnership with Save the Children, is releasing Toward an End to Child Marriage—a study that spotlights insights from 21 countries regarding how to prevent child marriage, which affects an estimated 12 million girls each year

This practitioner-focused study is the first comprehensive review of child marriage interventions that focuses on development and humanitarian contexts. Researchers examined data from more than 375 reports and interviewed key practitioners globally.

Among the recommendations:

  • Place youth voices at the center of all advocacy efforts.
  • Prioritize research in four especially urgent regions and contexts: urban settings, Southeast Asia, and Latin America—in particular, gang violence in Central America.
  • Assess pre-existing and crisis-specific drivers of child marriage in humanitarian contexts, including parents’ decision-making processes, and effective interventions.

“Child marriage has a devastating effect on the physical and mental health of girls and limits their lifelong opportunities,” says Julie Freccero, director of the Health and Human Rights Program and co-author of the study (with Human Rights Center Researcher Audrey Whiting). “We know that child marriage can increase when people are displaced by conflict and natural disaster, but we have very little evidence of what works to mitigate this. Interventions, and rigorous evaluations of those interventions, are urgently needed.”

Save the Children commissioned the study from UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center in order to inform the NGO’s work to end child marriage.

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Download the study: Toward an End to Child Marriage

Download the Executive Summary

Media inquires contact: Andrea Lampros at 510.847.4469 or alampros@berkeley.edu