India child marriages see sharp drop

Reuters MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — The proportion of girls getting married in India has nearly halved in a decade, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Tuesday, which has contributed significantly to a global decline in child marriage.

UNICEF said 25 million child marriages were prevented worldwide in the last decade, with the largest reduction seen in South Asia — where India was at the forefront.

“India constitutes more than 20 percent of the world’s adolescent population and accounts for the highest number of child marriages in South Asia given its size and population,” said Javier Aguilar, UNICEF’s chief of child protection. “In the current trend, 27 percent of girls, or nearly 1.5 million girls, get married before they turn 18 in India. This is a sharp decline from 47 percent a decade ago,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.Speech

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