South Asia is the region with the highest number of child brides, accounting for 45 per cent of the global total. Recent decades have seen remarkable progress in reducing child marriage in this region. Still, the combined impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic shocks, conflict and climate change threatens to erode these hard-won gains. Reaching the global SDG target to end child marriage by 2030 will only be possible if progress to eliminate this harmful practice is accelerated.
union before their 18th birthday. The region is home to around 290 million child
brides, accounting for 45 per cent of the global total.
per cent in Bangladesh to 2 per cent in the Maldives. Within countries there
is further disparity: In Afghanistan, for example, there is a tenfold difference in
prevalence across provinces.
occur. In Nepal, nearly 1 in 10 young men were married in childhood.
less education and reside in rural areas.
adolescents; over a third give birth before they turn 18.
places, marriage and schooling are viewed as incompatible.
Still, acceleration is required to meet the target of eliminating child marriage
by 2030; compared to the last decade, the rate of decline would need to be
seven times faster.