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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Targeting Girls in the Name of Tradition: Child Marriage

Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 1:30pm
2226 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on child marriage. The hearing is open to the media and the public.

Child marriage is a grave violation of human rights which severely violates the rights of the girl child to healthy psychological and physiological development and also poses serious public health implications. Globally, approximately 60 million women ages 20-24 were married -- often by force -- before turning 18, and one out of seven were married before the age of 15 (Population Council, Inc. analysis 2006). Based in large part on cultural traditions of patriarchal societies that disregard a female's right to form and give an informed consent to a marriage, child marriage severely violates a girl's ability to develop and mature. These marriages undermine their ability to form an independent personality and value system, and expose girls to increased maternal mortality rates, higher rates of HIV/AIDS infections, and domestic violence.

The hearing will focus on governmental efforts to end the practice of child marriage, the important work of U.N. agencies to work to protect children, and ongoing crucial nongovernmental projects.

If you have any questions, please contact Allison McGuire (Rep. McGovern) or Elizabeth Hoffman (Rep. Wolf) at 202-225-3599.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Frank R. Wolf, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Panel I

  • Ambassador Melanne Verveer, United States Department of State, Office of Global Women's Issues

Panel II

Panel III

  • Anju Malhotra, vice president of Research, Innovation and Impact, International Center for Research on Women
    Written testimony
  • Kakenya Ntaiya, founder, Kakenya Center for Excellence
    Written testimony
  • Stephanie Baric, CARE USA, senior technical adviser
    Written testimony
111th Congress