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.
In New York State, the minimum age required to be married is 17, falling one critical year short from adulthood. How does Child Marriage affect children in New York? What are the current laws in place surrounding child marriage? How can you take action?
Join us on Thursday, October 29th at 7:00pm for an engaging conversation with child rights advocates, leaders in local government, and representatives from UNICEF USA.