25 Monday, August 2014

Child marriage is tragic consequence of Syrian conflict

Syrian girls in the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan were encouraged to draw pictures after attending workshops on the dangers of child marriage. --- Rosie Thompson/Save the Children
Syrian girls in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan were encouraged to draw pictures after attending workshops on the dangers of child marriage.
— Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

The crisis in Syria has killed thousands, displaced millions and like many conflicts before it, increased the rate of child marriage dramatically, according to a disturbing study recently released by Save the Children.

--- Rosie Thompson/Save the Children
— Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

The study, titled Too Young to Wed, focuses on the tragic outcomes of young Syrian girls who have fled their homeland for the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. There, lack of economic opportunity and fear that their unmarried daughters are more likely to be exposed to sexual harassment have convinced many parents to marry their girls off at very young ages.

--- Rosie Thompson/Save the Children
— Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

Among Jordan’s Syrian refugee community, one in four girls was married under the age of 18 in 2013 — double the rate that existed in pre-war Syria, according to the report. Trends show that nearly half of those girls were forced to marry men at least 10 years older than them.

The girl in this drawing is saying, 'Daddy, where is he taking me? Is it to the park?' The scroll in the man's hand says 'Marriage Certificate.' --- Rosie Thompson/Save the Children
The girl in this drawing is saying, ‘Daddy, where is he taking me? Is it to the park?’ The scroll in the man’s hand says ‘Marriage Certificate.’
— Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

At 12 pages, the report itself  is short but alarming. It features testimony from child brides and their families as well as pictures that girls in the Za’atari refugee camp were encouraged to draw after attending workshops designed to teach them about the dangers of child marriage. It also includes recommendations for halting the trend.

--- Rosie Thompson/Save the Children
— Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

To see 15 more pictures, check out this moving post by BuzzFeed’s Richard James.

--- Rosie Thompson/Save the Children
— Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

, , , , , |