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UNICEF Report on Child Marriages in Afghanistan


Kabul, 19 November 2021: UNICEF Executive director, Henrietta H. Fore, expressed concern about the alarming and rising trend of Child Marriages in Afghanistan. Fore remarked that the organization has received reports of families offering their daughters in return for a dowry. Included in the report.


According to Fore, UNICEF’s partners released a report. In there it reported that 183 child marriages and 10 cases of child selling only in 2 provinces alone. She then added that the children were between 6 months old to 17 years.

The organization also estimated that 28% of Afghan women of 15 to 49 years were already married before they turned 18. The COVID-19, the ongoing food crisis, the political instability, are some reasons for the Afghan crisis. There is also the threat of winter looming on the horizon have just exacerbated the crisis for the citizens.

Fore remarked that Afghanistan faces an extremely dire situation, and it is forcing the families to make desperate choices. According to Fore, those choices are related to children’s work and child marriages.

Fore then warned that because most teenage girls are not allowed to return to school, the risk of child marriages increases dramatically.


UNICEF is directly working with partners to raise the awareness in the communities. They want to raise awareness of the risks that child marriages pose for the girls. Fore remarked that girls that marry before 18 often have to abandon school.

The other risk that Fore mentioned is that those girls are at risk of suffering domestic violence and abuse. The last risk of children marriages is that those girls are often vulnerable to pregnancy, and childbirth complications.

Fore remarked that the organization started providing cash to deal with the risk of hunger, child labor, and marriage among at-risk Afghans. She then added that there are plans to scale this assistance and other programs in the next months.

Fore also mentioned that the organization is also working with religious leaders to avoid their involvement in the contract for children marriages. The report ended with the call of UNICEF to national, provincial, and local authorities also to take concrete measures.

Those measures would be to support and protect at-risk citizens, including girls. Fore then urged the Taliban to re-open the all-girls secondary schools and allow the female teachers to return to their jobs. Finally, Fore remarked that the future of a generation is at stake in the country.

Carla Esparza Arteaga
Carla Esparza Arteagahttps://thediplomaticinsight.com
International Relations student at the Universidad de Navarra in Spain. Main interests are the work of International Organizations like the UN in the scope of humanitarian assistance to vulnerable human beings and the environment

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