One girl below the age of 18 is married off every three seconds worldwide, according to a community development charity which is calling for the British government to help end child marriage.

Plan UK will publish a report this week entitled Breaking Vows which states that 10 million under 18s become child brides every year. In developing countries in South America, North Africa and parts of Asia, one in three under 18-year-olds, and one in seven of all girls under 15, are married.

Rates of early and forced marriage are also high in Europe, with the highest percentages in central and eastern Europe where 2.2 million girls have married before their 18th birthday. The highest rates are in Georgia (17%) and Turkey (14%). At least 10% of adolescents marry before the age of 18 in Britain and France which confirms, says Plan UK, that early marriage is of global concern. The UK governments Forced Marriage Unit received more than 1,700 calls from at-risk girls last year.

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An article from the America Magazine

Unicef catches up with Mother Teresa

David Van Biema

Recently, an editorial in the New York Times published the results of a recent study by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), which may have surprised some readers. The study yielded what the newspaper called the "counterintuitive and compelling" conclusion that "providing services to the world's poorest children in the most impoverished communities is not only just, it is also more cost effective than the current policy of mainly helping the less poor in the areas that are easier to reach." The Times expressed the hope that global leaders meeting at the U.N. this week would permit Unicef to target its funds accordingly. 

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