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Child marriage prevalent in Afghanistan

Child Marriage Prevalent in Afghanistan: UN

KABUL – Child marriage is the most prevalent human rights violation in Afghanistan, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a statement on Tuesday.
Every year, millions of girls are subjected to practices that harm them physically and emotionally, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends, and communities, the UNFPA said.
According to the statement released, conflict, poverty, and holding on to certain traditional beliefs and behaviors put underage girls at risk in Afghanistan, especially in remote and rural areas.
“These risks not only prevent girls from their human rights, but also their social rights, and prevents them from education, harms their protection, and increases health threats including their reproductive health and the ability to choose if and when they have children,” the statement said.
“Harmful practices against girls cause profound and lasting trauma, robbing them of their right to reach their full potential,” says UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem.
Many harmful practices are human rights violations because they arise from discriminatory gender norms that perpetuate inequality. And they are imposed on women and girls, regardless of consent.
The UN said that violence against women has been increased during the lockdown. The Attorney General Office of Afghanistan recorded 249 cases of beatings during the Coronavirus quarantine.
“The pandemic both makes our job harder and more urgent as so many more girls are now at risk,” Dr. Kanem says. “We will not stop until the rights, choices, and bodies of all girls are fully their own.”
The UNFPA noted that governments should ensure these practices end because they have ratified the international treaties to protect the rights of women and children.
“Afghanistan has signed on most international conventions to protect children, including early marriage. From the policy perspective, the National Action Plan for the Elimination of Early and Child Marriage (NAP ECM) in Afghanistan has been adopted and is key progress towards prevention and ending the early marriage in the country, but it needs implementation continues to be a challenge,” read the statement.
Child marriage is a fundamental violation of human rights that robs girls of their education, health, and long term prospects. The elimination of child marriage requires joint action of the Government of Afghanistan, religious communities, civil society, and national and international partners.
“We need to renew our commitment and ensure this harmful practice is prevented, and girls and their rights are respected,” the organization said.
(Sahar News)

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