September 16, 2019
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Child Marriage

ECOSOC: UN Women

Topic: Child Marriage

The UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner defines child marriage as “any marriage where at least one of the parties is under eighteen years of age”. This practice disproportionately impacts girls and compromises development as it may result in early pregnancy, social isolation, interruption of schooling, and limiting career and vocational advancement opportunities. Child marriage does, however, play a role in lifting families out of poverty, which may be an incentive for families to engage in the practice. Families also may believe that young marriage to older men protects their daughters and increases their economic opportunities. Across the globe, rates of child marriage are highest in West and Central Africa, with almost 40% of girls married before their eighteenth birthday, and the total number of girls married before they turn eighteen is 12 million annually. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that free and full consent in marriage is a human right, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals identify child marriage as a barrier to gender equality.

As a result of cultural and social beliefs, women and girls may be denied equal roles in their households and communities. Cultural beliefs and values may place more priority on women’s role within the family and the household, thus leaving girls more susceptible to young marriage. Familial beliefs also play a role – many families believe that marrying their daughters young will provide them with opportunity and protection. This is not usually the case. The negative consequences of child marriage may, in fact, prove the opposite as child brides are at higher risk of sexually transmitted infections due to inability to negotiate safe sex practices, higher risk of dangerous pregnancies for both the mother and the child due to the young age of the mother, and higher risk of domestic violence within their marriage. Child marriage also poses a risk to girls’ educational opportunities by pulling them from schooling at a young age and preventing them from returning by forcing them to start a family. Girls are often impacted by child marriage in the context of familial poverty when their families lack access to resources and assets. Many families enter a dowry with the man marrying their daughter, which can provide substantial economic relief for struggling families.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) partnered in 2016 to launch a program that seeks to combat child marriage in 12 nations with high rates of child marriage. This program aims to connect families, communities, governments, and young people to increase girls’ access to services and resources while educating their families on the risks and dangers associated with child marriage. The new nature of these programs means that results and data on their impact are not necessarily readily available. It is up to the committee to determine if these means will be effective enough in combating child marriage or if other means are needed instead or in addition to these measures.

Useful Links:

The Fourth World Conference on Women:
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women:
https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CEDAW.aspx

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Submitted Position Papers

FHCDelegates 11/24/2021 23:57:08 68.56.182.0

Country: Niger
Delegate Name: Marrissa Bertocchini

UN Women-Niger-Bertocchini

Delegate Marissa Bertocchini
Forest Hills Central High School
Republic of Niger
UN Women: Child Marriage

Child marriage is an abhorrent occurance that is common among many impoverished nations across the world. Child marriage is formally defined by the United Nations as when a minor, a person who is under the age of 18, becomes eloped to a person of an older, non-minor age. While there are very highly looked upon advantages to the process, we cannot ignore the dreadful root of such economic advancement. Niger is far from exempt of these occurrences, and the Republic of Niger would like to formally address this topic in order to cease these distressing incidents.

The Republic of Niger has had a long history of child marriage with increasing support in accelerating the end of this horrible cycle. As of currently, it is estimated that Niger has a population of 5 million brides. Around 1.9 million of the young girls were married before the adolescent age of 15. UNICEF estimates that 3 in 4 young women of Niger were married before 18 and 1 in 4 prior to turning 15 years of age.

While this promotes economic advancement among the families of these young girls, improved access to educational attainment, and less violence against the women in these young relationships. While there are still many benefits, this is absolutely unsettling as many marriages are forced and unhealthy.

The young, determined Nigeriens of today are partnering the Netherlands, UNICEF, and UNFPA to assist in further advancing these efforts by holding community based sources of protection for these children while also helping women with powerful voices and positions in their society to help by speaking out and help addressing such toxic social norms. With continuing efforts anf further implementations and accesses to such programs, the Republic of Niger can look highly upon bringing a final end to child marriage in the near future.

The Republic of Niger expresses its appreciation for all prior efforts and cooperations with the Netherlands, UNICEF, and UNFPA. In further effort to properly address the considerable issue of child marriage, the Republic of Niger proposes many ideas regarding education and advocacy among the nations of the world. We would like to further invite other impoverished nations struggling with child marriage to join us in this fight and for more economically stable countries to please step in and help by providing financial support and opportunities to provide other impoverished countries similar to Niger to make the effort to finally end child marriage once and for all.

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FHCDelegates 11/24/2021 23:55:22 68.56.182.0

Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Sydney Brown

UN Women- Argentina-Brown

Delegate Sydney Brown
Forest Hills Central
Argentine Republic
UN Women: Child marriage

Child marriage is an instition where children under 18 are married. In some countries culture can play a role, but more times than not it can play a role of getting families out of poverty. Families will marry their young daughters off to men with a higher economic standing to lift themselves out of poverty. Child marriage greatly affects the equality of women and girls. When girls get married young it can stop their schooling which can stunt their education and lead to women not being as big an influence in the workforce than if they were fully educated. It is also harmful because it makes these girls take on the role of a grown woman. Doing the housework and raising a family. They do not have the environment to just be a child. It can lead to women being predominantly in a position of power under men. We need to solve this problem because the equality of girls and women everywhere is at risk and there is no reason why children should not be allowed to just be children.

Child marriage does have a hold in Argentina though not as big as other countries. Argentina does not release that much data about child marriage leading other countires to believe that the numbers that are shown are underestimated to the actual numbers in the region. Though they did have a national consensus of child marriage the country has more than 340,000 adolescents aged 14 to 19 years old that are married or cohabiting, 230,000 are girls and adolescent women. It greatly affects Argentina because it hurts the equality of women there. Women are less educated in the areas which it occurs and there is more domestic violence against women.

Argentina would love to see progress on getting rid of child marriage. Argentina believes that developed and wealthy countries should step up and lead the fight against it. With impoverished countries it is harder to pull themselves out of poverty and help with their own problems and if they got help from more stable countries it would be very beneficial. Argentina recognizes that education would be a step in getting rid of child marriage. With more education families and girls are more likely able to have a job that pays better and help themselves out without having to be married off. If we all work together we can put child marriage to an end and help further the equality of women around the world.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/24/2021 22:02:40 107.194.174.41

Country: Estonia
Delegate Name: Audrey Bricker

UN Women
Child Marriage
Estonia
Audrey Bricker

Across the world, child marriage is very prevalent. Child marriage is defined by the OHCHR as marriage in which one party, regardless of gender, is under 18 although it disproportionately affects girls all over the world. This is a clear violation of human rights and needs to be eradicated immediately. Even though many countries have laws against child marriage, informal unions still keep the practice alive. Informal marriages are a way that families can reap the unfair financial benefit of child marriage without the legal burden. Because they are informal, they aren’t recorded, which means they don’t have an impact on the enumeration of child marriage and therefore can make the massive issue seem like less of a problem than it is from an international standpoint. Estonia acknowledges that this is an issue and will actively pursue solutions to the plaguing problem of child marriage.

In Estonia, the 2009 Family Law Act states that the two parties involved in marriage must be legal adults over 18, or 15 with court permission. Although this means that there are loopholes that keep child marriage alive, the special permission for an underage marriage is very difficult to obtain and has caused the average age of a woman’s first marriage in Estonia to rise, which now is almost 34 years.

Estonia will strongly promote actions that reduce the prevalence of child marriage in today’s society and would look favorably upon actions and a resolution that eradicates child marriage and promotes the role of a daughter in a family as more than a way to make money through marriage. Estonia strongly believes that every child deserves international protection against marriage-based exploitation.

Works Cited:
Eesti.ee. 2021. Formalizing a marriage. [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 November 2021].

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 22:01:48 174.210.195.96

Country: Tunisia
Delegate Name: Alekya Vudathu

UN Women
Child Marriage
Republic of Tunisia
Alekya Vudathu
Forest Hills Eastern

Child marriage is any marriage where one of the parties is under the age of 18. This ideology is heavily negative due to the possibility of early pregnancy, STDs, social isolation, career limitations, interruption of schooling, and more. However, some families view it as a benefit because they believe that marrying their young daughter up to an older man will help them increase her and her family’s social status and help her access more economic opportunities. Child marriage is most prevalent in South Asia and Africa.. In Africa, almost 40% of girls are married before their 18th birthday and annually 12 million girls are married before they turn 18. To alleviate this issue the UN has recognized that full consent in marriage is a human right and has the goal of ending child marriage by 2030 to protect the rights of these girls.

Although Africa has one of the highest percentages of child marriages, within the continent, the country Tunisia has a low rate of 2% making it one of the countries with the least child marriages. Simply put, child marriages are rarely practiced in Tunisia. The legal age of marriage is 18 years old for both men and women, although marriages of minors under this age may be permitted, subject to the consent of their mother and guardian, and special approval from the judge. By law, the judge is only permitted to grant early marriages in case of “grave reasons”, and this must be “in the interests of the spouses”. Child marriage is void under Article 21 of the code, although there are no penalties for those facilitating or knowingly entering into such marriages. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are fighting against inequality, protecting human rights, seeking gender equality, empowering all women and girls, and recognizing that gender inequality is a persistent reality and an obstacle to global progress. One of its new additions is to eliminate all harmful practices like eliminating child marriage (by 2030). This seems unattainable but the urge signals to the world how pressing this matter is and how child marriage is completely unacceptable. Despite the fact that Tunisia has a low rate of child marriages the more awareness there is, the better. Therefore if we could all discuss and come up with more outreach programs or organizations to stop/eliminate child marriages the greater the impact it will have.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the UN population fund (UNFPA) have partnered to launch a program that helps child marriage in 12 nations with the highest child marriage rates. These programs were created to help families communities and young people to increase their access to services and resources and simultaneously educate the families on the risk of endangering their child through child marriage. Hopefully, with these programs awareness of child marriage will be raised and people will realize why child marriage is more harmful than beneficial. While Tunisia doesn’t suffer from this problem but observes other countries in our country suffer we believe that we and the world will significantly benefit from more laws, programs, and regulations that are implemented.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/24/2021 21:53:52 24.7.72.143

Country: France
Delegate Name: Mary England

Committee: UN Women
Topic: Child Marriage
Country: France

Child marriage rates across the world are in decline. However there are still millions of women and children that are or were married before the age of 18. Child marriage is in fact a violation of human rights. It forces young girls to their childhoods and transition into women hood at an unhealthy rate. About 40 million girls between the age of 15 and 19 are married, every year approximately 12 million more will be forced into marriage. A girl who is forced into marriage is more likely to stop her path of education. Forced pregnancy is also a result of child marriage and can cause many casualties at such a young age. The most direct cause of forced marriage is due to poverty and is a growing problem in developing countries and among refugees.

The nation of France has a very low percentage of forced marriages. However, non-consensual marriages are more common among immigrant women. There is the practice of child marriage all around the world. France has several hotlines in place that women can contact if they are being forced into a marriage. Women who are in this position are in fact protected by the law. Additionally, the union of a child and an adult can be annulled by the appearance of just one party in court. On top of this the action of traveling abroad with the purpose of forced marriage can be punished by up to three years in prison and a €45,000 fine. Child marriage is addressed at several international conventions. The Universal Declaration of Human rights supports free and full consent to marriage but does not address any limitations such as age or forced marriage.

France feels profoundly about eliminating Child Marriage and encourages the UN to take steps to increase awareness about the current situation. There are several NGOs that are willing to help in France and it could be beneficial to spread awareness and grow them so children in need can have a safe place. The number one solution to the prevention of child marriage starts with education. Another step to take towards the end of child marriage includes the encouragement of passing laws and policies that support the end of child and forced marriages.

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SASADelegates 11/24/2021 21:45:42 71.89.181.65

Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Audrey Wong

Audrey Wong
Brazil
UN Women
Child Marriage
Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy

Child marriage is a pressing global problem that has been on the rise for years; it affects young girls disproportionately as a result of continued gender inequality. The situation has been escalating, especially in developing countries in West and Central Africa, where almost 40% of girls under the age of 18 get married off to men. Approximately a staggering 37,000 underage girls are married off per day, which is the highest this number has ever been. From a struggling family’s mindset, there are supposed benefits to marrying daughters off early. For example, families believe that marrying off their daughters will relieve their economic burden, entering a dowry with the man they are marrying their daughter to and lessening their stress. However, the disadvantages of child marriage greatly outweigh the advantages. Disregarding the numbers on the global scale, child marriage has personal and long-term effects on a woman’s life. Marrying young puts a full stop to a woman’s education, greatly increases her risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and puts her more at risk for domestic abuse. Based on these few examples of the detriments of child marriage alone, the delegation of Brazil implores that this situation must be dealt with promptly. Action has been taken already, but it is not enough. In 2016, the United Nations announced an initiative to end child marriage by 2030, an ambitious but very achievable goal. Their solutions as a part of this programme are to educate families and children about the dangers of child marriage, provide more economic support to struggling families, create and enforce laws against marrying before the age of 18, and increase women’s access to education and healthcare services.
Brazil has the fourth-highest number of underage marriages worldwide at 3,034,000, with about 36% of Brazilian girls being married before they are 18 years old. In 2019, the government of Brazil passed a law stating that children must not be married under the age of 16, regardless of any circumstance. This law was passed after the pressure was put on by politicians and NGOs, including Plan International. In 2018, the UN adopted its third resolution addressing child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM). This resolution was headed by Canada and Zambia and co-sponsored by 114 member states. The resolution emphasized points made in previous resolutions, but also addressed some important areas such as the root cause of CEFM being gender inequality and emphasizing the rights of girls who are already married. Brazil was one of those 114 co-sponsors. This is a big step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done.
The delegation of Brazil believes that the minimum marrying age must be raised to 18, regardless of circumstance. Children aged 16 and 17 should never be married off. Also, providing families with education about why child marriage is harmful and providing them with economic support is necessary. The money needed for this economic support could be garnered from countries’ governments or generous donations from willing and wealthier countries. NGOs such as Action on Child Early and Forced Marriage or VOW for Girls also will be able to financially support international action. Brazil is looking forward to working with fellow delegates to come to an effective consensus addressing this issue.

Works Cited:
“An NGO.” Action on Child Early and Forced Marriage, http://actiononchildearlyandforcedmarriage.org/.
“Brazil Bans Child Marriage for under 16’s.” Plan International, 22 Mar. 2019, https://plan-international.org/news/2019-03-22-brazil-bans-child-marriage-under-16s.
“Child Marriage.” UNICEF, 7 Mar. 2021, https://www.unicef.org/protection/child-marriage.
“Impact.” VOW for Girls, 23 Nov. 2021, https://vowforgirls.org/impact/.
“New UN Initiative Aims to Protect Millions of Girls from Child Marriage – Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2016/03/new-un-initiative-aims-to-protect-millions-of-girls-from-child-marriage/.
“The Facts on Child Marriage.” International Women’s Health Coalition, 23 May 2018, https://iwhc.org/resources/facts-child-marriage/.
“UN General Assembly Adopts 3rd Resolution on Child, Early, and Forced Marriage.” Girls Not Brides, 13 Dec. 2018, https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/articles/un-general-assembly-adopts-3rd-resolution-on-child-early-and-forced-marriage/.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 15:19:29 68.32.56.125

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Palak Rekhani

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that “1 of 4 girls in Latin America and the Caribbean marries or enters in early union before 18 years.” Child marriage refers to any formal marriage or informal union between a child under the age of 18 and an adult or another child. It is considered to be a form of forced marriage due to a party not having free or informed consent; therefore, child marriage is a violation of the rights of girls and women. The practice usually has serious repercussions on young girls’ health and future who do not understand the consequences of marriage and are unprepared for its hardships. Premature pregnancy, high rates of maternal and infant mortality, setbacks in their education, increased chance of contracting HIV or AIDS, and domestic violence and abuse are just some of the risks posed. UNICEF reports, “Niger has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world,” followed by Chad, Bangladesh, and Guinea. The United Nations has made numerous efforts to eliminate child marriage. For example, the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage was established in 2016 to “promote the rights of adolescent girls to avert marriage and pregnancy, and enable them to achieve their aspirations through education and alternative pathways.” The second phase was the Generation Equality campaign, which focuses on issues facing women across multiple generations like education and health care services. Additionally, many resolutions have addressed the topic. A notable one is the United Nations General Assembly’s 3rd Committee’s third resolution on child, early, and forced marriage. It discussed the physical and physiological threats of child marriage on girls and emphasized the rights of married girls through a resolution for the first time. Colombia believes that child marriage is destructive to young girls and society and urges for the United Nations to work towards eradicating it. A recent development occurred when Colombia’s supreme court ruled on August 18, 2021, that minors between 14 and older can legally marry an adult without parental consent if they have the “responsible intention” to form a family.

Columbia still has a long way to go in the elimination of child marriage. According to UNICEF, “23% of girls are married before they turn 18” in Colombia. This could be largely accounted for by its dominant religion, Catholicism, and other social factors like conflict, poverty, and lack of sexual education. Due to these circumstances, “roughly one in five women aged 15-19 were pregnant or had already had a child” which could cause people to marry quickly to avoid birth out of wedlock. The World Bank and International Center for Research on Women reports that “child marriage will cost developing countries trillions of dollars by 2030. In contrast, ending child marriage would have a large positive effect on the educational attainment of girls and their children, contribute to women having fewer children and later in life, and increase women’s expected earnings and household welfare.” In efforts of reducing child marriage, Colombia used the National Development Plan (2018-2022) to test innovative approaches and evaluation techniques.

Colombia believes the United Nations should follow UNICEF’s emphasis on “joint actions and investment with and for adolescent girls.” Colombia recommends recognizing and addressing the major drivers of child marriage: discriminatory social norms against girls, poverty, and lack of comprehensive sexual education. Establishing policies and services that educate parents on the dangers of child marriage, generate regional platforms to strengthen advocacy and intersectional coordination of gender equality, bolster girl empowerment through support networks and transforming harmful gender norms, and enforce laws that establish 18 as the minimum marriage age will encourage such reforms. Additionally, providing regions with resources they lack to achieve these campaigns like economic support, information, and skills. Columbia would support any resolution that strengthens laws and policies to protect women and girls from this harmful practice.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 20:26:36 107.5.180.147

Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Jaisal Chopra

United Nations Women
Child Marriage
The Federal Republic of Germany
Jaisal Chopra
Forest Hills Eastern

Child marriage is a marriage in which at least one of the parties is under eighteen years old. This negatively affects young girls as they can end up pregnant, without any financial support, and can even interrupt their education. Many families participate in the practice since it lifts them out of poverty. Free and full consent in marriage has been recognized as a human right and some organizations, such as The UN Children’s Fund and UN Population Fund, have made attempts to combat the problem. According to UNICEF’s number, there are 765 million minors in marriages worldwide. Early marriage also harms the development and wellbeing of girls and can even lead to domestic violence and rape. This barrier to gender equality rips young girls from many opportunities such as higher education and higher-paying jobs.

According to statistics released from Germany’s Central Register of Foreign Nationals, there are 1,475 children that are listed as “married” on their official paperwork. This fact includes all foreign nationals living in Germany. It was also revealed that of this number, the vast majority were girls. There are 361 children under the age of 14 that are legally married and living in Germany. Much of Germany’s child marriage number comes from refugee populations, but some also come from fellow European Union member states. This led to Germany putting into effect a well-intentioned “Law to Combat Child Marriage” with the change of making the legal age of marriage to 18 on July 22, 2017. This law also had a goal of protecting young girls and women from being forced into marriages against their will. This attempt to effect change was promising at first, but has a lower success rate than hoped.

Germany urges countries to begin within their own population and set laws to prohibit child marriage. Germany itself hopes to make stronger laws than ones already created to do this. Germany believes the UN should make the issue of child marriage a priority. Germany proposes an increased effort in research on child marriage and the effects it has on young women. Germany promotes laws that outline the procedure to handle refugees moving through countries and marrying underage, especially in Germany where the legal age is 18. When children marry in another country where it is legal, it can be hard to recognize that marriage in Germany. So, if more countries recognize the problem and set laws as increasing the legal age, the issue of child marriage would be on its way to being solved. Germany will endorse any resolution that will increase research on the effects of child marriage and will set laws to limit legal underage marriages.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/24/2021 17:36:56 174.210.226.217

Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Brooke Orlando

Brooke Orlando
ROMUN
Russian Federation
UN Women

The Russian Federation recognizes the issue of child marriage as a serious global dilemma. One of the most serious implications of child marriage is regarding the age of consent. There are many religious practices in the Caucasus regions of Russia that regularly put child marriage in practice, commonly at the expense of the woman. While there is a legal component regarding the marriage age in Russia to be eighteen, there are some regions such as Moscow, which has a marriage age of sixteen, and Boshkortostan, which has a marriage age of fourteen. These are some of the regions that practice child marriage more commonly as a way of religion. While protecting culture and religion is important to Russia, we want to prioritize consent for women, and enforcing protection laws for women who do not want to be forced into a marriage at a young age.
Russia recognizes how our citizens have deeply suffered in the past one hundred years. Working to rebuild our nation, we want nothing more than for the women of our country to prosper and be protected under our nation. While preserving culture and religion, we believe in the protection of children. We want to push the enforcement of this not only in Russia, but globally. Every human deserves the right to consent. Protection laws for young women who do not consent to these marriages should not only be implemented, but strictly enforced. Every girl deserves the right to a safe and free-willed life.

Works Cited:
Philipp, Jennifer. “Examining Child Marriage In Russia – The Borgen Project”. The Borgen Project, 2021, https://borgenproject.org/child-marriage-in-russia/.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 17:23:13 68.55.153.66

Country: Mexico
Delegate Name: Komal Patel

United Nations Women
Child Marriage
Mexico
Komal Patel
Forest Hills Eastern

Child marriage is a global issue fueled by gender inequality, poverty, and social norms that more than 650 million women alive today suffer direct consequences of. The rates of child marriage are declining, but progress is not happening fast enough. Ending child marriage would guarantee a more secure and prosperous future for girls suffering from marrying at a young age; UN Women is approaching a three tiered approach which includes advocating that girls at risk are supported, calling for intensification of efforts to prevent violence in these relationships, and supporting community initiatives aimed at seeking youth women leadership.

In efforts to ban child marriage, Mexico is taking preventative actions in order to ensure girls in the country a successful future with adequate education and opportunities. According to UN Women, “25 percent of Mexican women ages 50 to 54 say they married as children, while 21 percent of women 20 to 24 report the same.” Over a generation, the rates of child marriage in Mexico declined by only a small amount. To counter this minor change, Mexico banned child marriage in 2014. However, informal marriages continue to persist, leaving the rates of child marriage unaffected and making it difficult for Mexico to collect data on these relationships. According to the Borgen Project, since women’s empowerment goes hand in hand with ending child marriage, “Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education has joined the Mexican Academy of Science and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development to promote STEM in girls’ education in Mexico” as well as taking up a program called “Mujeres in STEM” to encourage more women involvement in these fields. Additionally, more women in Mexico are seeking employment and their influence in politics is increasing. These developments in women’s employment will help eliminate child marriage in Mexico.

Mexico urges UN Women to partner with the charitable organization, Mariposas, which aims to provide educational programs for young women in central Mexico communities in order to empower them to break the cycles of poverty caused by limited education opportunities and a lack of access to educational services. Through this partnership, child marriage in Mexico would be reduced by increasing women’s access to education. Because poverty is a major cause of disadvantaged girls marrying as children, Mexico recommends UN Women to work alongside Mexico Child Link Trust to provide sustainable housing for children in Mexico in order to reduce child poverty and ultimately counter child marriage. Through these preventative actions, a prosperous and educational future for girls vulnerable to child marriage is attainable.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/24/2021 12:47:25 174.212.130.203

Country: China
Delegate Name: Camille Gerville-Reache

An opponent against modernization, child marriage is an issue capable of immediate action. According to United Nations commissioned research, an alarming 37,000 female minors are married off daily, to oftentimes older men. Most families who consent to child marriages are desperate to secure a prosperous future for their children. However, child marriage as a safety net is counterintuitive because victims lose access to educational and employment opportunities. Females are disproportionately affected, and child brides are more likely to suffer from domestic abuse, unsafe sexual practices, and high-risk pregnancies. For these reasons and more, the United Nations has declared child marriage a human rights violation.

To shield adolescents from marriage and other dangers, China implemented the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Minors, Article 15 of which states, “The parents or other guardians of minors may not permit or force the minors to marry, nor may they make marriage contracts on behalf of the minors.” Minors are defined as under anyone 18. Furthermore, the Civil Code of China states “No marriage may be contracted before the man has reached 22 years of age and the woman 20 years of age. Late marriage and late childbirth shall be encouraged.” Such laws, in addition to China’s required 9-year education law, lead youth to complete university education and obtain employment as an alternative. More than 60% of Chinese high school students attend university.

China has encouraged other countries to do the same. In the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, nations affirmed the damage child marriage inflicts on women and children. Strict laws that increase the age of consent and prevent parentally contracted marriages were urged. Since most rationale behind child marriage is economic, the conference suggested providing educational opportunities. China continues to encourage laws banning child marriage and supporting education, especially for young women. China looks forward to working with other countries in combatting child marriage.

Works Cited
“Is Child Marriage Legal in China? – China Law in One Minute.” China Justice Observer, https://www.chinajusticeobserver.com/a/is-child-marriage-legal-in-china.
“Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995.” United Nations, United Nations, https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/girl.htm.
“The Facts on Child Marriage.” International Women’s Health Coalition, 23 May 2018, https://iwhc.org/resources/facts-child-marriage/#:~:text=1%20in%203%20girls%20in,before%20the%20age%20of%2018.
“Constitution and Related Laws.” Database of Laws and Regulations, http://www.npc.gov.cn/zgrdw/englishnpc/Law/2007-12/12/content_1383869.htm.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 15:18:55 174.241.29.122

Country: Nigeria
Delegate Name: Jade Tarango

UN Women
Child Marriage
Jade Tarango
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Forest Hills Eastern

According to the United Nations (UN), 39,000 women under the age of 18 are married every day, resulting in harm to both their physical and mental health. A marriage in which one of the parties is under 18, referred to as child marriage by the UN Human Rights Office, robs young women of their right to a free and consensual union. This practice is seen worldwide but strikes the most prevalence in West and Central Africa. Domestic violence, sexually transmitted infections, and complications with childbirth are just some of the issues that prevail in instances of child marriage. Specifically, the practice of child marriage has had a major impact on increasing the spread of AIDS, especially in underdeveloped countries. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) states that the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the most child brides with over 22 million girls suffering. In order to protect women’s rights and combat this destructive practice, Nigeria is eager to find a solution to this issue that plagues young girls worldwide.

UNICEF reports that over 40% of girls in Nigeria are married before adulthood. With a lack of a strong inclination for girls to stay in school, many seek financial assistance through marriage. While this remains a pressing issue, there have been some efforts to combat this in Nigeria’s history. For example, Article 21 of the African Charter prohibits the marriage of anyone under 18. While this legislation starts the process of ending this practice, it remains prevalent through informal unions and loose enforcement. Similarly, the UN announced an initiative that calls for the end of child marriage by 2030 to try and stop the violation of women’s rights. This issue is particularly pressing because Nigeria has the third-highest number of HIV/AIDS deaths in the world, many of which result from child marriages, according to the CIA World Factbook. Additionally, the CIA reports that Nigeria has the 4th highest maternal mortality rate with over 917 deaths per 100,000 births. In order to preserve the lives and rights of Nigerian girls, action must be taken to end child marriage.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria would look favorably upon actions to not only pass legislation outlawing child marriage, but also widespread education of the dangers it poses. Sexual education as well as encouragement for girls to stay in school will drastically help reduce the number of deaths resulting from child marriages. Additionally, increased opportunities for careers for women would be beneficial in reducing the popularization of marriage as a form of financial support. Nigeria is willing to collaborate with any nations wishing to end child marriage and protect young women from the dangers it poses.

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SASADelegates 11/24/2021 03:39:47 71.89.181.65

Country: India
Delegate Name: Abbie Wong

Abbie Wong
India
UN Women
Child Marriage
Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy

Child marriage has decreased worldwide in recent years, but the practice of child marriage is still widespread. Multiple laws and programs have been launched in order to fight child marriage. In 2016 UNICEF along with UNFPA launched the Global Programme to End Child Marriage. The programme reached more than 12 million adolescent girls. Currently due to the pandemic numbers have been on the rise, poor families without jobs are scrambling to have their daughters married for financial reasons. These families that turn to marriage as a means of financial support are directly exploiting their daughters. Girls that get married off at a young age are more likely to experience domestic violence, dangerous pregnancy, and stop receiving an education.
An estimated 1.5 million underage girls in India are getting married each year. In 1978 the Child Marriage Restraint Act was amended, where the legal age of marriage of girls was changed from 15 to 18 years and of boys from 18 to 21 years. The Indian Government appointed persons that are responsible for ensuring that the act is implemented, Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CMPO) are appiointed in every state to prohobiit child marriages, ensure the protection of the victims, and prosecute the offenders. Support like medical aid, legal aid, counselling and rehabilitation support are provided to all children born from child marriages and makes provisions for their custody and maintenance, also provided residence and maintenance of the female contracting party.
Setting up centers where girls can get education would be beneficial, with an education they could get jobs and support their family that way instead of the “only” option being to get married. Having more CMPO would also be beneficial, since having laws in place doesn’t stop 100 percent of underage marriages. Having people like officers that are able to interfere on site to stop marriages is helpful.

Works Cited
“Child Marriage.” UNICEF, 7 Mar. 2021, https://www.unicef.org/protection/child-marriage.
“Child, Early and Forced Marriage, Including in Humanitarian Settings.” OHCHR, https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/women/wrgs/pages/childmarriage.aspx.
Pathak, Sushmita, and Lauren Frayer. “Child Marriages Are up in the Pandemic. Here’s How India Tries to Stop Them.” NPR, NPR, 5 Nov. 2020, https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/11/05/931274119/child-marriages-are-up-in-the-pandemic-heres-how-india-tries-to-stop-them.
“The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.” IndiaFilings, 12 Dec. 2018, https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/prohibition-of-child-marriage-act/.
“Solutions to End Child Marriage.” Compass, https://www.thecompassforsbc.org/sbcc-tools/solutions-end-child-marriage.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 09:37:15 68.37.183.106

Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Rachel Verbrugge

Child marriages have been an increasingly big issue as the population of developing countries, and it negatively impacts the lives of girls in countries all around the world. Child marriages are defined by the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner as “any marriage where at least one of the parties is under eighteen years of age”. While many families who participate in this practice believe that marrying their daughter young will provide economic opportunities and lift families out of poverty. However, as a result of child marriages, there are several negative effects for girls including increased amounts of higher risk of STDs, dangerous pregnancies, social isolation, interruption of schooling, and limiting career and vocational advancement opportunities. Central and West Africa have the highest rates of child marriages at 40% of girls under eighteen getting married, this is most likely due to the poverty in these locations.The UN works to help this issue because it is a barrier to gender inequality as identified in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

In the United States there is no federal law banning child marriages, which means it is up to the states to establish legislation on the issue. Currently, in the United States only six states have completely banned child marriages, and the other 44 states still allow the marriage of children under the age of 18 under certain circumstances. In 86% of child marriages it is between a girl minor and an adult male, and the negative consequences for girls are a clear violation of child rights. The United Nations called for the end of child marriage and female genital mutilation by 2030 in Sustainable Development Goal 5, and as the United States continues to increase the amount of states banning child marriages, they get closer to achieving this goal.

The United States suggests that countries adopt similar practices to the United States by passing legislation to ban child marriages. There also needs to be work done to increase the economic opportunities available to families in poverty so that child marriage doesn’t seem like the only option. Additionally, it is necessary to create programs encouraging more education opportunities for girls beyond elementary and middle school, as well as providing options for careers outside of the home.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 22:28:36 97.71.235.131

Country: Viet Nam
Delegate Name: Abby Grocki

Globally, child marriage has found to be a persistent issue negatively impacting young girls. Child marriage is a very concerning topic due to the several issues that happen as a result, such as early pregnancies which are dangerous for the mother and child, social isolation, interruption of schooling, and the limitation of career advancement opportunities. The key reason why child marriage is caused isthe determination of a family to be lifted out of poverty. However, some families believe that child marriage will protect their daughters by marrying them to an older man, and will also increase their economic opportunities, but studies have found that child marriage results in the opposite to these claims. In a child marriage, young women are more likely to receive sexually transmitted infections from non-negotiable sex practices and creates high vulnerability for domestic violence within the marriage. Overall, 12 million girls a year are forced into child marriages, resulting in the negative emotional and physical impacts that can be prevented with the help of the United Nations.
Specifically concerning young women in Vietnam, data on child marriage has proven that 1 in 10 Vietnamese women married before the age of 18. Vietnam has a great interest in resolving this, but progress is blocked due to the lack of investments toward the National Action Plan to Implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. There have also been laws in the past that prohibit child marriage such as the Laws on Marriage and Family and Law on Children and Penal Code along with the help of the Prime Minister approving a National Program to Adress Child Marriage in ethic minority areas. Stating all these and enforcing legal provisions for the minimum age of marriage is important, but not effective in some scenarios. In these cases, people and their families choose to marry for certain reasons including “love marriage” and “Marriage to resolve pregnancy.” It is also found in Vietnam that families follow traditions in which the family arranges marriage for their children.
Vietnam would like to propose a newly updated code on child marriage to prevent unnecessary harm to young women. Along with this, there should be a secure marriage system to ensure safety to those who are beginning a marriage. In addition to legalizing the marriage, couples should be required to meet with professionals to clear them for a safe marriage that will not be harmful to the people in the relationship. Also, these couples should be required to meet with the professional to confirm once again that the marriage is not destructive which could take place every 5 to 10 years. In conclusion, Vietnam does not wish to interfere with the sovereignty of any nation, and would be willing to work to create peace for the young women of Vietnam. In doing so, Vietnam would like to find allies in the United States, Japan, and Australia.

Works Cited

Author UNICEF Viet Nam and UNPFA Viet Nam, and UNICEF Viet Nam and UNPFA Viet Nam. “Ending Child Marriage, Empowering Girls.” UNICEF Viet Nam, 1 Mar. 2018, www.unicef.org/vietnam/reports/ending-child-marriage-empowering-girls.
“Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.” OHCHR, www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CEDAW.aspx.
“Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995.” United Nations, United Nations, www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/economy.htm.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 21:33:11 69.47.155.77

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Clare Cowen

Country: United Kingdom
Committee: ECOSOC
Topic: Child Marriage
Delegate: Clare Cowen
School: Williamston High School

The issue of child marriage is a major issue that occurs on the global scale. It is a devastating matter that should be taken with the utmost concern, for it affects the most vulnerable and precious members of society; children. The majority of child marriage victims are female, and the practice infringes upon the right to happiness and prosperity of millions of women and girls worldwide. It makes them increasingly more vulnerable to atrocities such as domestic violence, disrimination, and exclusion from economical and political participation. Statistically, twelve million girls worldwide are married before they reach the age of eighteen per year, and there are currently 650 million women in the world who were married as children. The rates of child marriage nearly double in underdeveloped countries, with forty percent of the female population married before the age of eighteen. These statistics are completely devastating, so it must be prioritized by the UN to take action now to help stop this horrendous practice and bring hope to the millions of child marriage victims worldwide.
The UN has declared the issue of child marriage to be a human rights violation and has set guidelines have currently been set to put a stop to the practice in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While the issue of child marriage is not as prominent in the United Kingdom, there has still been actions taken to even further lower the rates of child marriage within the country. The United Kingdom is committed to passing laws that would ban marriage before the age of eighteen for both genders. Currently, the legal age for marriage with parental consent in the United Kingdom is sixteen, despite the fact that the age for adulthood is eighteen. Lawmakers aim to get rid of the legal loophole that authorizes child marriage. It is also their goal to make it a criminal offence to assist or aid an underage marriage, including child marriages for religious regions and ones that occur abroad. The United Kingdom is committed to ending the practice of child marriage by the year 2030 under the United Nation’s Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The United Kingdom is currently working withunderdeveloped countries that are severely riddled with child marriage such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Guatemala, Malawi, and Tanzania. The United Kingdom works to end the practice of child marriage by empowering young people to advocate and campaign against child marriage, providing safe spaces for girls at risk, work with developing communities to ensure girls are valued, supporting girls to stay in school, and finding sources of financial aid to help families with children who are at risk of being married before the age of eighteen. The United Kingdom is willing to work with all countries who have signed the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development. We believe that in intervening in individual countries to combat this issue.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 21:29:17 69.47.155.77

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Nora Cowen

Child marriage is a major global concern, it is something that should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. It is an issue that affects millions globally, in all countries no matter how developed they are. One out of three girls in the developing world are married before the age of eighteen; one in nine are married before the age of fifteen. Currently, 400 million women are married before the age of eighteen. Despite being a global issue, the majority of child marriages occur in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa, where 46% of girls are married before they become adults. Child marriage rates are known to increase as instability increases, so young girls living in conflict are particularly vulberable to the practice. Ending the practice of child marriage is extremely important. It is a chance to give children back their childhoods, which every child has a right to. The institution of child marriage perpetuates the cycles of poverty, poor health, illiteracy, and violence that all negatively affect the youth of today.
The United Nations has declared that child marriages are a human rights violation and are a harmful practice that negatively affects women and girls globally. In the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, guidelines have been set by the UN to hopefully eliminate the practice. In Japan, without parental permission people may marry at age twenty. With parental permission, men may marry at eighteen and women may marry at sixteen. A recent study proposed revision to Japan’s Civil Code has set the age limit to getting married to eighteen for all genders. The government supports this law and hopes it will be passed in 2022. Child marriage is not a major concern within Japan itself though it is constantly working with the UN and other developed nations to combat the issue. Japanese citizens and the government agreed to target ending all child marriages in 2016, by 2030 with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Japan closely works in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, including hotspots for child marriage like Niger, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and India. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) especially focuses on child marriage in developing nations and nations where child marriage in a concern. Japan also works with the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi, Nepal, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden, along with the United States to closely combat the issue. Currently, the Japanese government is particularly working with Burkina Faso, a West African nation, to work on their child marriage issues (Yokohama Action Plan).

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8947

Country: Kenya
Delegate Name: Owen Rizor

Committee: UN Women
Topic: Child Marriage
Country: Kenya
Delegate: Owen Rizor

In Kenya, child marriage is an issue that is somewhat prevalent despite multiple laws banning it and other related practices. The first law banning child marriage was passed in 2001. Other such laws have been enacted in 2006, 2011, and 2014.
The Children’s Act of Kenya Part II 14. states that “No person shall subject a child to female circumcision, early marriage or other cultural rites, customs or traditional practices that are likely to negatively affect the child’s life, health, social welfare, dignity or physical or psychological development.” The Act was passed in 2001. Since then, the Sexual Offences Act was passed in 2006, the Prohibition Of Female Genitalia Mutilation Act was passed in 2011, and the Marriage act was passed in 2014. While these laws have brought down the amount of child marriage and FGM, the percentages are still at a troubling number. Child marriage sits at 23% and FGM sits at 21%.
In March of 2016, the United Nations presented a new initiative that’s goal is to end child marriage in 2030. The proposal targets 12 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East where child marriage is prevalent. It will improve education and health access for girls, education on child marriage for parents, economic support for poorer families, and making better laws that will enforce the minimum age of marriage as 18. The UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, says on the matter, “This is critical now because if current trends continue, the number of girls and women married as children will reach nearly 1 billion in 2030…”
Kenya believes that the laws we have put in place need better enforcement and need to be revised to make them more clear and more effective. Our goal is to end child marriage as soon as possible and we cannot do that without precise laws. We propose revisiting all former proposals on child marriage and also increasing enforcement of these laws. The more rescue centers and professionals involved, the better. Mental health services should also be provided for those who have gone through any experience relating to child marriage or FGM.

Works Cited

Children Act. childrenscouncil.go.ke/images/documents/Acts/Children-Act.pdf.
“FGM & Child Marriage in Kenya.” Equality Now, www.equalitynow.org/www-equalitynow-org-learn_more_fgm_and_child_marriage_in_kenyalocaleen/.
“New UN Initiative Aims to Protect Millions of Girls from Child Marriage | | UN News.” United Nations, United Nations, news.un.org/en/story/2016/03/523802-new-un-initiative-aims-protect-millions-girls-child-marriage#.Vt8pqfkrK71.

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