Approximately 248,000 children — some as young as 12 — were married in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010, most of them were girls wed to adult men. Girls who marry are not only denied their childhood, they are often socially isolated, with limited opportunities for education and employment. UNICEF calls child marriage a harmful practice and a violation of child rights and believes that marriage under age 18 should be prohibited in all circumstances.
Yet there is no federal law regarding child marriage; rather, every state sets its own requirements. In fact, several states throughout the country have no minimum age for marriage. That is why UNICEF USA is a member of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage, working alongside other NGO partners to end marriage below the age of 18 within the U.S. and to repeal loopholes and exceptions that may promote the practice.
As part of that effort, UNICEF USA and Zonta International have joined forces to raise awareness and enact change to end child marriage globally and locally, right here in the U.S., with the ultimate goal of ensuring that girls fully enjoy their childhood free from the risk of child marriage
Fill in your contact information in the form below to call on your State Representative and State Senator to end child marriage with zero exceptions by supporting legislation in your state legislature.