By Farzana Ali Khan
Throughout the world, marriage is regarded as a moment of celebration and a milestone in adult life. Sadly, as this article makes clear, the practice of early marriage gives no such cause for celebration.
While much of the impact remains hidden, it is absolutely clear that millions of under-age children – particularly girls – suffer negative consequences.
Early marriage takes many different forms and has various causes, one issue is paramount. Whether it happens to a girl or a boy, early marriage is a violation of Human Rights. The right to free and full consent to a marriage is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in many subsequent human rights instruments – consent that cannot be ‘free and full’ when at least one partner is very immature.