Every year, 12 million girls are married before their 18th birthday.
Child marriage perpetuates poverty, inequality and insecurity and is an obstacle to global development. A lack of attention to child marriage undermined the achievement of many of the Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015). Since then, the international community has learned a lot, and in 2015, an extended set of development goals included a specific target to end child, early and forced marriage. Target 5.3 aims to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage”. This is an important tool to drive action, hold governments to account for their commitments to girls, and track progress on ending child marriage globally.