END CHILD MARRIAGE
IT HAPPENS MORE THAN YOU THINK
Child marriage, defined as a marriage between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child, is a global problem and is a far more common practice than many believe. While the prevalence of child marriage has decreased worldwide – from one in four girls married a decade ago to approximately one in five today – the practice remains widespread, including here in the United States.
Since there is no federal law regarding child marriage, states are free to establish their own requirements. Child marriage remains legal in 46 states. More than half of the states permit child marriage with either parental or judicial consent. Other states have religious or pregnancy exceptions, permitting the practice to continue. Only four states–Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota— have banned child marriage outright.
Child marriage is a gendered practice with grave social, financial, physical, and psychological consequences. The United States State Department has called marriage before 18 a “humans rights abuse” that “produces devastating repercussions for a girl’s life, effectively ending her childhood.” In order to protect children and secure their futures, the practice of child marriage must be outlawed. The movement to end child marriage and sex abuse in the United States is growing at this time, and CHILD USA is dedicated to reforming the laws to ensure children are not married before the age of 18.
The number of U.S. States considering bills to end child marriage is growing. Click here to see all pending child marriage legislation and revelant bill texts.
CHILD MARRIAGE IN THE NEWS
Maya Brown | Agusut 24, 2021
House OKs bill banning child marriage
Philippines | CNN | September 6, 2021
Tasha Wibawa | June 19, 2021
RI governor poised to sign ban on marriage under age 18
| June 5, 2021