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Girls stand near their tent at the Jalozai camp, 15 kilometres from Peshawar. — Photo by AFP/File

ISLAMABAD, Oct 12: Calling for zero tolerance towards child marriage, a latest report of the United Nations has feared that the number of girl child marriages will increase dramatically over the next 10 years and more than 142 million girls are at risk of this human rights abuse.

The number of children marrying each year will grow by 14 per cent from 14.2 million in 2010 to 15.1 million in 2030 if current trends continue, warns the report titled “Marrying too Young: End Child Marriage” released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

In South Asia alone, the number of child brides is likely to increase from 24.4 million (4.9 million per year) in 2010 to 27.9 million (5.6 million per year) in 2030. South Asia has the highest prevalence of child marriages with 46 per cent followed by sub-Sahara Africa with 37 per cent.

In Pakistan, the report says, about 5,000 new cases of obstetric fistula occur every year, with young girls disproportionately affected. The UNFPA launched a fistula repair project in Pakistan as part of an overall program to improve maternal health and now it is launching another program with focus on ending child marriage and early pregnancy.

In Punjab, the UN agency supported the formulation of a youth policy which addresses child marriage and early pregnancy. Youth networks raised awareness in their communities about the danger of child marriage, the report said.

Comments (9) Closed

Mohdudul Huq Oct 13, 2012 01:03pm
Pakistan and all Muslim countries should work together with UN mandate to stop vulture acts in Muslim countries.
Ashfaq Oct 13, 2012 02:27pm
You are trying to stop a wrong thing for a wrong reason. Child marriage is wrong and abuse of young girls. For population control there should be other measures.
roquefort Oct 13, 2012 01:13pm
In Pakistan 51% population is women but the tragedy is that in rural areas women have no say in the decisions about their lives the soul purpose is breading I have seen heinous crimes committed against women in Pakistan there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
saju Oct 13, 2012 04:05pm
By brining education alone will not change the society, but rather change the mind set of people who find the solution to holy book as an answer, which to be respected, and today generation too, as we are not living 1600th century, our children to be sent to mars and beyound, irrespective of gender, and world is proven.why have different thought?
impala Oct 13, 2012 02:35pm
It is indeed shameful. But of the 142m we are shown pictures of only the two (seemingly) Muslim girls? Media all over is wonderful.
Samad Chaudhry Oct 13, 2012 07:00am
Child marriage should be and must be forbidden It is a cruelty that must not be acceptable Perhaps the only way to stop this is to bring education to poor masses.
rana Oct 14, 2012 03:52am
The UN cannot deny that in western countries they do not have problems facing the girl child.In the so called third world countries where there is poverty all vices become the norm.In the west young girls and boys are known to dissapear never to be found again.Many come from dysfunctional familiesfor example according to a survey done i canada every one girl out of three is sexually abused or about to be sexually abused..
rana Oct 14, 2012 04:01am
it will take generations to change the minds of a people who have a mind set of their own.Education is the key to our problems.
Usman Ali Akhtar Oct 13, 2012 11:40am
Population of to days world is dramatically raising already. Therefor, Gov. should take a strict action against child marriage as early as possible.