All governments have committed to end child, early and forced marriage by 2030 under the SDGs. However, with 17 different goals and numerous targets to achieve, most governments will only be able to prioritise putting resources and efforts behind a select few. As advocates, we must encourage decision-makers to act on child marriage by showing how it’s an issue that will help progress not just on Goal 5, but across numerous other Goals.
It is important to hold governments to account for the commitments they have made on the SDGs. Civil society have a key role to play in reminding decision-makers that there is national and international scrutiny on their actions and putting pressure on them to act.
Incorporating language around the SDGs within your advocacy messaging is a simple but effective way to strengthen your position and demonstrate the global relevance of your argument.
High Level Political Forum
At the global level, the main mechanism for engaging in the SDGs is the High Level Political Forum (HLPF).
HLPF convenes annually to assess the global progress of the SDGs and highlight the gaps remaining. As part of the HLPF process, Member States are invited to report on their own national progress towards achieving the SDGs through the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process. This is an important process as it enables governments to assess the gaps in their work and see what still needs to be done. It also offers an opportunity for civil society to feed into their governments report and highlight priority areas.
You can help influence this process by connecting with relevant civil society organisation networks and government departments working on the HLPF and making sure child marriage is considered.