Canada and Zambia lead on UN resolution to end child, early and forced marriage

Statement

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement:

“Today, the United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee adopted a resolution on child, early and forced marriage, which was led by Zambia and Canada with a total of 114 co-sponsors. This year’s resolution takes stock of progress toward the UN’s target of eliminating this harmful practice by 2030 and provides a road map to achieving it. In the past decade, the global proportion of girls who were married before age 18 decreased from one in four to approximately one in five. Efforts must be stepped up in order to meet our target by 2030. We are proud to be working with Zambia and other partner countries from around the globe to demonstrate the commitment of the international community to making real progress for girls and women.

“Child, early and forced marriage is an abuse of human rights that imperils the lives and futures of far too many girls and young women. It often brings an end to their education, threatens all aspects of their health and prevents them from fulfilling their potential. It also places affected women and girls at higher risk of encountering discrimination and violence throughout their lives.

“Ending child, early and forced marriage will improve the lives and futures of millions of girls, women, their families, their communities and their countries around the world.

“Canada will always stand up for the protection of human rights, including women’s rights, around the world.”

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