Child, Early and Forced Marriage

Minister Nicholson Meets with Tanzanian Champion Against Child, Early and Forced Marriage, Announces Further Support to End Practice

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced further Canadian funding for projects aimed at ending child, early and forced marriage (CEFM). Minister Nicholson made the announcement following his meeting with Valerie Msoka, Executive Director of the Tanzania Media Women’s Association.

Ending Child Marriage: Canada Speaks Up for Rights of Girls Worldwide

Child, early and forced marriage is perpetuated by poverty and gender discrimination. It is estimated that between 2004 and 2014, 100 million girls worldwide will have been forced to marry before their 18th birthday.

Child, Early and Forced Marriage—Inspiring a Global Movement

Child, early and forced marriage is a widespread, harmful practice that threatens the lives and futures of girls and young women around the world. This practice robs young girls of their childhood and basic rights.

Child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) is a widespread and harmful practice that threatens the lives and futures of girls around the world, with devastating consequences. CEFM denies girls their right to childhood, disrupts their access to education and jeopardizes their health. CEFM also hinders development. When girls are not able to reach their full potential, everyone suffers—girls, their families, communities and countries.

CEFM is a global problem, which is most prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. There are many factors that contribute to CEFM, including poverty, gender inequality, traditional or religious pressures, girls’ lack of access to education, limited economic empowerment for women, and humanitarian crises.

Quick Facts

  • Every year, it is estimated that 15 million girls—some as young as five years old—are forced into marriage.
  • Over 700 milion women alive today were married as children.
  • One in every three girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18. One in nine marries before the age of 15.
  • Complications in childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls between the ages of 15 and 19 in the developing world.

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"69th UNGA Panel on Ending Child, Early and Forced Marriage: A World Where All Girls Can Reach Their Full Potential"