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Call For Action

Call For Action to End Child Marriage in Africa

The two day East African Conference on Child Marriage, which took place in Dar Es Salaa, Tanzania from June 12th – 13th 2013, was a direct call to action on Child Marriage in Africa that was endorsed by 85 participants taking part in the conference. This call to action specifically urged the African Committee of experts on the rights and welfare of the children to develop a General Comment on Child Marriage as a matter of urgency, to guide the government and policy makers to fulfill their obligations to protect girls from the violations of their basic human rights, as well as a standard for effective monitoring & evaluation.

Hence, the following key recommendations were made in the development of a General Comment on Child Marriage:

  1. Enact a minimum age of 18 years old for all males and females, advocating law reform, ensuring effective enforcement of such laws and standardize all civil law where conflict with customary and religious laws occur
  2. Develop a National Action plan and transform these social policies, which include communities, traditional and religious leaders, as central stakeholders
  3. Promote comprehensive and integrated programs that take into account the root causes and drivers of child marriage, such as social & cultural norms, value systems including religion, bride price and gender inequities and poverty
  4. Develop strategies and structures to deal with the consequences of child marriages, such as putting girls back into school, skills training, services for child brides, child mothers & child widows
  5. Invest in monitoring & evaluation infrastructures for data collection analysis for ending child marriage
  6. Allocate resources to enhance capacity building skills

 

This Call to Action was endorsed by the following organizations who attended the East African Conference on Child Marriage:

Children’s Dignity Forum

Coexist

Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD)

Girls not Brides

Graca Machel Trust

Hope Foundation

Legal and Human Rights Centre

MIFUMI

Tanzania Ending Child Marriage Network members (20 organizations)

Tanzania Association of Media Women

Tanzania Women lawyers Association

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)

Population Council

Raising Voices

UMATI

UNFPA Tanzania

UNICEF Tanzania

UNESCO Tanzania

UTU MWANAMKE