A draft resolution on child, early and forced marriage, presented jointly by Canada and Zambia, was adopted by the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly.
Cosponsored by a total of 114 countries, the text highlights emerging trends in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and calls on the international community to take concrete steps to sustain and accelerate progress towards ending marriages of children, precocious and forced.
For the Canadian Ministers of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, and of International Development, Karina Gould, “Child marriage is a violation of human rights and a major obstacle to the development of women and girls. Too often, it leads to the end of their schooling and health complications, in addition to putting them at increased risk of discrimination and violence ”.
They also deplored that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these effects and that the access of women and girls to school and to essential health services is drastically reduced around the world.
And to emphasize in this regard that ” their livelihoods are threatened by measures to limit the spread of the virus and the devastating economic impact of the crisis, as well as by the increase in their burden of unpaid domestic work and care ”.
As a reminder, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) predicts that the health crisis will lead to 13 million additional cases of child, early and forced marriage that would otherwise have been avoided by 2030.