Child marriage has devastating and long term effects (health, education, psychological, emotional, mental etc.) on the life and the future of girls. The negative effects of child marriage, include but are not limited to, less education, lower earnings, health complications due to early pregnancy, compromised psychological well-being, intimate partner violence and lack of participation and voice for the girls in their community and society at large[ii]. It is a human rights, gender, health and culture, as well as a development issue.”[iii]
According to the AUC Campaign the drivers of child marriage include poverty, discriminatory cultural and religious practices and a lack of political engagement.[iv] Conflict aggravates child marriage, and girls in conflict zones are forced both into marriage but conflict as well. They are unaccounted for due to the core family unit being broken up, and thus have no one searching for them as they are often suspected to be dead. Solutions vary from greater accountability from political leaders, to better and more widespread birth registrations (to determine exact age in order to provide legal protection), providing empowering education, community support and community and religious leader support, economic support for girls and their families, and a consistent and enabling policy environment, amongst others.