Toward an End to Child Marriage: Lessons from Research and Practice in Development and Humanitarian Sectors

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Julie Freccero, Audrey Taylor
Publication Date
June 1, 2018
Publication Type
Health and Human Rights Program


Despite recent declines in the prevalence of child marriage globally, an estimated 12 million girls are still married each year. Additionally, there has been growing concern around reports of increasing child marriage rates among those affected by conflict or natural disaster where underlying drivers such as gender inequality, social norms, and lack of opportunities for girls are exacerbated, and new drivers related to protection concerns and extreme poverty arise. Consequently, girls who are married young experience a violation of their human rights and suffer negative impacts on their education, economic prospects, social lives, mental and physical health, and the health and nutrition of their children. Effective interventions are urgently needed to address this critical issue. The purpose of the following 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 to-date 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. In addition, through a mapping and analysis of Save the Children’s programming, it assesses the organization’s approaches against the available evidence.