Global child marriage decline

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The new global estimates of child marriage indicates that child marriage around the world has continued to decline with accelerated progress in the last 10 years.

According to the 2018 UNICEF global databases, 25 million child marriages have been averted in the past decade of which seven (7) million were reductions based on the prior trends, while 18 million were due to an acceleration of the progress made in ending child marriage.

The analysis of the data for the report is based on a subset of 107 countries with available data covering 78 percent of the global population of women between the age of 20 and 24.

The report also indicates that the first projection scenario is calculated on the basis of the observed average annual rate of reduction from the past 20 years.

Also, the latest prevalence and population figures according to the report indicates that the global number of child brides is now estimated at 650 million with 12 million girls married in childhood each year.

Despite the reduction in numbers, progress is insufficient to meet the ambitious target of elimination as set forth in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)s, hence the need for substantial acceleration in order to meet the SDG target of 5.3

Meanwhile, the report states that global progress in the reduction of child marriage has been driven by reductions in South Asia.

The report also shows that distinct trends in the practice of child marriage are evident across geographic regions, though variation exists within regions and even within countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa is now home to the highest prevalence of child marriage, and over the past decade has seen only modest declines.

In addition to the slow progress, the sharply increasing population means that with each passing year the number of child brides may grow.

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