A Pact for a future without child marriage
Child, early and forced marriage and unions must be prioritised in the Pact of the Future, the action-oriented political outcome document of the Summit of the Future - a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to address inequities in global governance and reset international cooperation.
Civil society organisations that work towards ending child marriage call on states to adopt a Pact that will lay the ground for radical action and investment for ending child marriage and achieving gender equality.
The Pact will be negotiated by states in the lead up to the Summit of the Future, which will take place in September 2024.
Update on 29th January 2024: The zero draft of the Pact for the Future has now been published on the Summit of the Future website and is available to view here.
Girls Not Brides and 124 member organisations and partners submitted a written statement to the co-chairs of the Summit, with recommendations to inform the Pact of the Future, streamlining calls to address child marriage and gender inequality across all five focus areas of the Pact:
1. Sustainable development and financing for development
Unless significant progress is made on ending child marriage, societies will fall short on at least nine of the SDGs, including those related to poverty, food security, health, education, gender equality, economic growth, climate action, and peace and justice. Addressing this requires sustained financial investments to transform gender norms, ensure girls’ access to education and health services, tackle unpaid domestic work disparities, end poverty, and reduce economic inequality.
2. International peace and security
Addressing child marriage and gender inequality is integral to a comprehensive understanding of peace and security. Child marriage must be integrated into humanitarian strategies, and women’s roles in conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding must be increased.
3. Science, technology and innovation and digital cooperation
Enjoying the benefits of scientific progress, including regarding sexual and reproductive health, is a human right. Improving access SRH services and reliable information, including by closing the digital divide, is key for the well-being of girls and women, delaying adolescent pregnancies, and reducing child marriage rates.
4. Youth and future generations
To effectively address child marriage, it is crucial to listen to youth voices, and to understand their concerns, aspirations, and solutions. Collective, gender-transformative approaches are needed to support girls in delaying marriages, ensuring continued education, health protection, and the fulfillment of their ambitions. Meaningful and inclusive youth engagement and leadership is crucial in ending child marriage and driving positive societal change.
5. Transforming global governance
Global governance reform must address macro socioeconomic inequalities and counter global inequalities, ensuring that vital public services such as education and health are adequately financed, thus substantially contributing towards ending child marriage.
In the time it has taken to read this article 28 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 2 seconds
- Summit of the Future - Child Marriage Statement (ENG) (PDF, 191.0kB)
- Le Sommet du Futur - Déclaration sur le Mariage des Enfants (FRA) (PDF, 220.2kB)
- La Cumbre del Futuro - Declaración sobre el Matrimonio Infantil (ESP) (PDF, 213.3kB)
- Cimeira do Futuro - Declaração sobre o casamento infantil (POR) (PDF, 227.2kB)
- भविष्य का शिखर सम्मेलन - बाल विवाह बयान (हिंदी / Hindi) (PDF, 471.9kB)
Read the statement / Lire la déclaration / Leer la declaración / Ler a declaração / बयान पढ़ें
- Pact of the Future Infographic (ENG) (PNG, 835.0kB)
Pact of the Future Infographic
The Sustainable Development Goals and child marriage
Brief outlining the nine Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that depend on ending child marriage, with calls for accelerated action by governments and civil society involvement in holding them to account.