In 2010, 13.5 million girls were married before they turned 18. If we do nothing, by 2030 an estimated 15.4 million girls a year will marry as children.
In the developing world, one in seven girls is married before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine.
Neither physically nor emotionally ready to become wives and mothers, these girls are at far greater risk of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, becoming infected with HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence. With little access to education and economic opportunities, they and their families are more likely to live in poverty.
Child marriage directly hinders the achievement of 6 of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. Simply put, the international community will not fulfil its commitments to reduce global poverty unless it tackles child marriage.
Girls who marry young do not receive the educational and economic opportunities that help lift them and their families out of poverty. Find out more: Child marriage and poverty
Child brides are usually forced to drop out of school. The education gap between girls and boys in the developing world is often greater where child marriage is common. Find out more: Child marriage and education
Child brides rarely have any say in the decision to marry. Find out more: Child marriage and human rights
When a mother is under 18, her baby is 60 percent more likely to die in its first year of life than a baby born to a mother older than 19. Find out more: Child marriage and health
Girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. Find out more: Child marriage and health
Child brides lack the information or the power to negotiate safe sexual practices with their often older and more sexually experienced husbands. Find out more: Child marriage and health