Commission on Population and Development calls for data collection on child marriage, adolescent girls

Governments were urged to collect data on child marriage, as well as adolescent girls, as part of their efforts to implement and track the success of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The resolution, adopted at the end of the 49th Session of the Commission on Population and Development, looks at “Strengthening the demographic evidence base for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Data collection is critical to understanding the lived realities and needs of women and girls and measuring how laws, policies and programmes are affecting their lives. It will be integral to the success of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including target 5.3 to end child, early and forced marriage.

The resolution emphasises data collection in several areas that will support efforts to address child marriage, including:

  • Birth and marriage registration. Governments are urged to strengthen systems for the universal, reliable and timely registration of birth and marriage, among others, and produce vital statistics from this data (paragraph OP11).
  • Sex-disaggregated data and statistics on gender indicators, including indicators that relate to violence against women and girls – which encompass harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital cutting (paragraph OP13).
  • The needs of adolescent girls between the ages of 10-14. Governments are also asked to ensure that they collect, analyse and disseminate data on women and girls between the ages of 10-14 and over the age of 49, in order to fill data gaps and inform policy. Data often focuses on women and girls between the ages of 15-49, therefore missing out on vital information about girls under the age of 15 (paragraph OP15).

This resolution can be a useful tool for civil society organisations looking to encourage their governments to implement the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and in particular report on their progress to achieve target 5.3 to end child marriage.

Find out more about the International Conference on Population and Development and the ICPD Programme of Action here and here