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Around the world, girls and young women are disproportionately affected by HIV. While there is limited evidence about the direct causal relationship between child marriage and HIV, many of the factors which put girls and young women at greater risk of HIV infection also put girls at increased risk of child marriage. Once married, child brides face profound health consequences as a result of their early marriage, and in some contexts, increased risk of HIV infection. There are therefore strong arguments for investing in girl-centred programmes which can simultaneously tackle the drivers of child marriage and new HIV infections among adolescent girls.
Every year 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. If progress is not accelerated, 150 million girls could be married in childhood by 2030.1 As a key driver of adolescent pregnancy, child marriage has a hugely detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of girls and young women, who are more susceptible to experiencing complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The children of child brides are also at higher risk of poor health outcomes than children of girls who marry later. If we act to prevent child marriage now, we could dramatically improve health outcomes for millions of girls and women worldwide, and those of their children.
Find country-specific data from the Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) in select Together for Girls partner countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR. Scroll through the carousel below to view the documents.
- Lao PDR
Deaths among children aged 1 month to 5 years old have fallen dramatically in recent decades. But progress in reducing the deaths of newborn babies – those aged less than 1 month – has been less impressive, with 7,000 newborns still dying every day. This is partly because newborn deaths are difficult to address with a single drug or intervention – they require a system-wide approach. It is also due to a lack of momentum and global commitment to newborn survival. We are failing the youngest, most vulnerable people on the planet – and with so many millions of lives at stake, time is of the essence.
Keywords: mortality rates, breastfeeding, health system
The INSPIRE handbook: action for implementing the seven strategies for ending violence against children explains in detail how to choose and implement interventions that will fit your needs and context. The seven strategy-specific chapters address the Implementation and enforcement of laws; Norms and values; Safe environments; Parent and caregiver support; Income and economic strengthening; Response and support services; and Education and life skills. The handbook concludes with a summary of INSPIRE’s implementation and impact indicators, drawn from the companion INSPIRE indicator guidance and results framework.
Keywords: children, violence, bullying, laws, support
In recent years, there has been growing evidence and recognition of the importance of engaging men and boys to improve gender equality and empower women and girls. The evidence base on male engagement in ending child marriage, specifically, is relatively thin, with only a handful of studies assessing whether programmes shift the attitudes and behaviours of men and boys around child marriage. Those programmes that have been rigorously studied suggest that it is indeed possible to shift boys’ attitudes toward child marriage including the appropriate age of marriage for girls.
The 2018 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Tuberculosis and the current revision of the Roadmap for childhood tuberculosis together present an important moment to consolidate and advance advocacy, commitment, resource mobilization and joint efforts by all stakeholders to provide health care and address the burden of TB among children
Keywords: TB, HIV, multidrug-resistant, treatment, advocacy
The purpose of the study is to gather findings from efforts to prevent and respond to child marriage in both development and humanitarian contexts and determine what Save the Children and other organizations can do to improve their response to this critical issue. The study adds to existing research by synthesizing the most up-todate literature, bringing the voices of practitioners and experts into the discussion, and examining the topic of child marriage interventions in a humanitarian context for the first time.
Keywords: children, advocacy, protection, education, health, rights
This report details key results achieved in 2017 by UNICEF and partners – including children and young people themselves – and looks to the strategic challenges ahead. Against a backdrop of widespread conflict, instability and displacement, the report highlights UNICEF’s efforts to advance innovation, efficiency, transparency and financial stewardship in 2017. It also takes note of successful advocacy activities focused on child survival and health, early childhood development, violence against children, and child migrants and refugees. The report demonstrates UNICEF’s commitment to investing in the rights of excluded and disadvantaged children and young people, and providing them with opportunities to grow up healthy, educated and protected.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, children, young people, health
This summary of the UNICEF Strategic Plan, 2018–2021 highlights the organization’s key goals and activities, setting out the concrete results that UNICEF aims to achieve for children with its partners over a four-year period. The summary also outlines the organizational change strategies and enablers envisioned by the Strategic Plan to achieve those results, charting a course towards the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and a better future for every child.