Child Marriage in Humanitarian Settings in the Arab Region

Dynamics, Challenges and Policy Options

image of Child Marriage in Humanitarian Settings in the Arab Region
This study tackles the issue of female child marriage in the Arab region, particularly in conflict and humanitarian settings. It explores the causes of this problem, with a distinction between such structural determinants as family and community relations and gender roles that have long been present in many Arab countries, and such contextual determinants as instability, displacement and extreme poverty. It also investigates the economic and health effects of child marriage, for young brides, their children and their communities, especially in post-conflict contexts. The study also provides an overview of national obligations with regard to preventing child marriage, as stipulated by international instruments and humanitarian laws. It concludes with policy recommendations to address the multifaceted dimensions of child marriage and its implications for the rights of the girl-child.




This publication was completed at the Centre for Women (ECW) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in the context of a joint project with the Arab States Regional Office (ASRO) of the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA). The project, consisting of this study, two policy briefs, and an expert group meeting, reflects common strategic priorities of both UNFPA and UN-ESCWA on advancing the principles of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action, for the promotion of the rights of women and girls in the Arab region. The implementation of the project was a cooperative process involving close consultation on all substantive, conceptual, and programmatic issues between The UN-ESCWA team (composed of Ms. Samira Atallah, ECW Director; Ms. Julianne Dietch, ECW Associate Social Affairs Officer; Ms. Iman Bakkar, Administrative Assistant at ECW; and Ms. Jade Lansing, Research Consultant at ECW), and the UNFPA team (composed of Mr. Francois Farah, ASRO Deputy Regional Director; Ms. Enshrah Ahmad, Gender, Human Rights, and Culture Advisor; and Ms. Valentina Volpe, Regional Programme Specialist).


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