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Child Marriage Bill Moves Forward in the Senate

September 22, 2010

Yesterday the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted unanimously to send the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Bill (S. 987) to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), would authorize the President to provide assistance to prevent the incidence of child marriage and promote the educational, health, economic, social, and legal empowerment of girls. The State Department is required to come up with a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and promote the empowerment of young girls who are at risk of child marriage.

Child marriage is a recognized violation of human rights, an average of 25,000 girls a day become child brides, and unless something is done to change this trend within the next 10 years, over 100 million girls in the developing world will become child brides. 

While the full Senate is expected to approve the bill before Congress adjourns later this year, no vote has been scheduled as yet in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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