Photo credit: Charity Chiutsi | IMs Bildarkiv
“Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948)
Child marriage and human rights
Child marriage is a serious human rights violation affecting children’s and women’s rights to health, education, equality, non-discrimination and to live free from violence and exploitation. These are rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), as well as other international and regional human rights instruments.
Child marriage and slavery
In some cases, child marriage could be considered slavery. When children are bought and sold under the guise of marriage for the purposes of sexual exploitation or when they are trafficked into forced marriages, their cases meet internationally recognised definitions of slavery or slavery-like practices.