To mark international day of the girl and as part of our flagship Every Last Child campaign, Save the Children released Every Last Girl; a report which ranked countries in an index based on the best and worst places to be a girl. Our analysis showed that across the world, one girl under 15 is married every seven seconds.
A girl under 15 is married every seven seconds; others are forced to live a life of modern-day slavery. Around the world, girls are at risk of trafficking, forced labour and sexual violence – especially if a war, earthquake or flood tears their homes apart. And if a girl is married or pregnant before her body is ready, it could destroy her health, her choices and her dreams. A girl is not property. She should never be goods for sale.
We’re fighting to protect girls and their freedom. Because we want to build a world where every girl is free – where she has the power to make her own choices. Help us set girls free.
When Khadra was 15, she was forced to marry a man who was over 30 years old. She was only in her first year of secondary school but she had to leave. “I wanted to continue with school and go to university and become a doctor.” Khadra’s husband beat her. By the time she left him, she was already pregnant. After she gave birth, Khadra was unconscious for 3 days. Her body suffered in labour and she is still in pain. She says that girls should not be forced to get married: “Girls who give birth at a young age face a lot of health complications.” Khadra was robbed of her freedom because she’s a girl. She was denied an education, and her health was put at risk. Discrimination changed her life forever.
The village where Mina, seven, lives was devastated by the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Families, home and livelihoods were destroyed – meaning the children who live there are especially vulnerable.
Human traffickers trick girls like Mina into leaving their homes. They promise a good job or the chance to go to school. They tell them they’ll no longer be a burden to their families. Girls as young as nine are taken to the city, where they are treated like goods for sale, and sold into the sex trade. We’re doing whatever we can to protect girls from horrors such as this. Mina and her three sisters all attend what we call child friendly spaces. At these safe spaces, trained volunteers teach girls to understand the dangers of child trafficking before the threat becomes firstname.lastname@example.org.
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