Number of child brides in Africa could double to 310 million by 2050

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Number of child brides in Africa could double by 2050. Photo: UNICEF/PFPG2014P-0868/Lynch Hamamatou

If current trends continue, the number of child brides in Africa could double to 310 million by 2050, the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF has said

According to the agency, Africa is poised to surpass South Asia as the region with the highest number of women between 20 and 24 years old who were married as children.

More now from Veronica Reeves.

Slow progress in reducing the prevalence of child marriage, combined with expected rapid population growth in Africa could mean double the number of child brides by 2050, according to UNICEF.

Across Africa, the percentage of young women who were married as children has dropped 10 per cent in the last 25 years. 

Still, that reduction won't be enough to keep pace with the exponential population growth expected across the continent in future generations – meaning more child brides than ever before.

UNICEF says the prospect for a healthy, successful life declines dramatically when someone is married as a child.

The African Union launched a continent-wide campaign to end child marriage last May and has been working with national governments to strengthen and enforce laws that protect girls from early marriage.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 51"

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