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Ending Child Marriage: Using data to protect the young

by on June 16, 2015

Day of the African Child

Efforts to end child marriage in Africa are the focus of this year’s observance of the Day of the African Child, on June 16. In Kenya, despite legislation prohibiting marriage before the age of 18, the practice under “customary” law – marriages according to customs of communities of one or both parties – and Islamic law sets no minimum age. Many young girls, especially in rural areas, are given in marriage by their parents in exchange for livestock or goods or because they are seen as an economic burden. A recent study showed 43 percent of girls were married before age 18 and just under 12 percent of boys.

As the Government of Kenya seeks to combat these early marriages, it needs reliable data to inform policies and pinpoint districts where more resources are needed for programs to safeguard children from early marriage – programs such as improved access to education, health information, and child protection services.

MEASURE Evaluation PIMA (MEval-PIMA) is currently working to address this data challenge in the Kenyan child rights and welfare sector, working with the country’s Department of Children Services. Kenya’s child protection system promotes the well-being of children through the prevention of violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect, and by ensuring prompt and coordinated action in response to such events. Data necessary for the Child Protection Information Management System helps guide national-level allocation of resources, as well as the planning and targeting of education and health interventions, among others.

Read the full article.

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