The Stream

Child marriage: Why does it persist in the US?

On Thursday, November 26 at 19:30GMT:
Some 12 million girls are married in childhood every year, according to the UN children’s agency, with the practice still prevalent in scores of nations, including the United States.

Between 2000 and 2015 more than 200,000 such unions took place in the US, as per data compiled by the documentary series Frontline and 80 per cent of those marriages involved young girls marrying adults. A report released by the International Center for Research on Women found that children who marry face increased rates of poverty, domestic violence, early pregnancy and negative impacts on health and education. The UN calls child marriage a “fundamental human rights violation”.

Campaigners say little progress has been made since The Stream first discussed the issue in 2017. At that time, child marriage was still legal in all 50 US states. But in the last two years, Delaware, New Jersey, Minnesota and Pennsylvania have introduced laws prohibiting it.

On this episode of The Stream we look at why child marriages are still legal and ask what is being done to stop them.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 
Donna Pollard, @YourVoice_SC
Founder, Survivors Corner

Sara Tasneem, @sf_tasneem
Child Marriage Survivor and Mentor

Max Robins, @MaxTRobins
Founder and Executive Director, Students Against Child Marriage