Internationally there is growing recognition that child, early and forced marriage is a human rights violation and a severe impediment to social and economic development. As a leading donor for international development, the U.S. has a role to play in the global movement to end child, early and forced marriage.
In the last few years, the U.S. government’s commitments to ending the practice have markedly increased, through development as well as diplomatic work.
In March 2016, the U.S. State Department adopted the Global Strategy To Empower Adolescent Girls, which includes specific provisions on ending child, early and forced marriage and addressing the needs of married girls globally.
Developed by the State Department, in coordination with USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Peace Corps, this whole-of-government strategy aims to coordinate the work and engagement of U.S. agencies to respond to the needs of adolescent girls in a holistic way.
This strategy meets the requirement of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) that the U.S. Secretary of State must “establish and implement a multi-year, multi-sectoral strategy to end child marriage.”