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Sixth US State to Explicitly End Practice; Rest Should Follow Suit

New York State’s Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday to end child marriage, making New York the sixth state in the United States to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 without exceptions. When the law goes into effect next…
Women protest child marriage at the New York state capitol in Albany, on Feb. 14, 2017.
News

Fifth US State Ends Marriage Under 18; UK Pledges to do the Same

Last week, a breakthrough in the global fight to end child marriage came when the United Kingdom government pledged to raise the minimum age of marriage in England and Wales to 18, without exception. Just days before, Rhode Island became the fifth US…
A demonstrator wearing a bridal gown takes part in a protest urging legislators to end Massachusetts child marriage
News

Cuomo Can Help US State Lead by Joining Four Others that Have Banned the Practice

On June 2, the New York State Assembly voted unanimously to approve a law ending all marriage before the age of 18 in New York State. The bill had already been approved by the state senate in May. New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, should now sign the…
Women protest child marriage at the New York state capitol in Albany, on Feb. 14, 2017.
News

Entrenched Discrimination, Violence Mar Gains 25 Years after Beijing

(New York) – Governments should mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2020 with moves to expedite progress on gender equality, Human Rights Watch said today. They should plan for concerted action and dedicate resources to prevent…
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State House of Representatives and Governor Baker Should Act Next

Yesterday, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously voted in favor of Senate Bill S.2294 to ban child marriage in the state. After each senator said “yes,” the public gallery, filled with members of the Children’s League of…
Massachusetts Child Marriage Survivor Tammy Monteiro joins coalition members in chain in protest at State House to end child marriage
News

Senate Vote Set on Bill to Prohibit Anyone Under 18 From Marrying

(Boston) – Massachusetts state senators should vote on July 25, 2019, for a proposed law to end child marriage in Massachusetts, Human Rights Watch said today. Senate Bill S.2294 has broad bipartisan support and is backed by 35 Massachusetts-based…
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News

The United States has lagged behind the global legal reform trend on child marriage, but this is starting to change.

On June 26, activists in wedding dresses and chains gathered at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to press for passage of a bill to ban child marriage. Some wore tape across their mouths. “Arms chained, mouths taped, trapped…
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Bill Would Prohibit Anyone Under 18 From Marrying

(Boston) – Massachusetts lawmakers and Governor Charlie Baker should back a proposed law to end child marriage in Massachusetts, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the governor that was released this week. Human Rights Watch also released a…
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News

US Media Personality Belittles Child Marriage Victims on Newly Uncovered Audio

Newly uncovered audio has US political media personality Tucker Carlson defending a man who received a felony conviction for arranging child marriages in the US. The audio was recorded more than a decade ago, during appearances by…
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News

Hypocrisy Undermines UK pledge to Fight Child Marriage Overseas

This week Pauline Latham, a Conservative MP, introduced a bill to ban marriage before the age of 18 in England and Wales. She has support from across the political spectrum for an effort that is long overdue. In England, Wales, and…
The Union Flag flies near the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, June 7, 2017.
News

Better Protection in Afghanistan Than Some US States

On May 9, Delaware’s governor signed a bill prohibiting marriage before age 18, making it the first US state to ban all child marriage. This is a crucial step toward ending child marriage in the US and around the world. …
Sonia Ossorio of NOW-NYC addresses the crowd at a protest against US laws allowing child marriage.
News

Legislators Should Support Bill Setting Minimum Age at 18

(Tallahassee, Florida) – Both houses of the Florida legislature should pass a bill to set the minimum age of marriage at 18, with no exceptions, the Florida Coalition to End Child Marriage said today. The coalition, which consists of 13…
Sonia Ossorio of NOW-NYC addresses the crowd at a protest against US laws allowing child marriage.
News
It’s been a funny week. I’m in Kabul, Afghanistan, launching a new Human Rights Watch report I wrote about the lack of progress in girls’ education in Afghanistan. But in between meetings, in the back of a dusty Corolla, stalled at security checkpoints, I…
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News

One of First States to Act; Others Should Follow

(New York) – New York State has taken an important step toward ending child marriage, as Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 20, 2017 signed legislation to dramatically reduce the circumstances under which children can marry, Human Rights Watch said today.…
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Governor’s Support of Proposed Law Boosts Chances of Success

Occasionally, Twitter brings good news for human rights. Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted, “It’s shocking this law has been in place for so long, and with this new legislation, we’ll put an end to child marriage.” …
Sonia Ossorio of NOW-NYC addresses the crowd at a protest against US laws allowing child marriage.
News

End Child Marriage in New York State

(New York) – New York State’s legislators and governor should back a proposed law to help end child marriage in New York, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to New York lawmakers. In the period from 2001 to 2010, 3,850 children…
Sonia Ossorio of NOW-NYC addresses the crowd at a protest against US laws allowing child marriage.
News

State Law is Out of Step with International Norms

For the past four years, I’ve worked with Human Rights Watch researchers around the world as they document the devastating consequences of child marriage. Our team has interviewed hundreds of married children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal,…
Sonia Ossorio of NOW-NYC addresses the crowd at a protest against US laws allowing child marriage.
News
At 19, Fraidy Reiss was trapped in an arranged marriage to an abusive husband and couldn’t find her way out. She lived in New York, in an Orthodox Jewish community; as far as her family was concerned, divorce wasn’t an option. Family and friends told her…
Fraidy Reiss at a Chain-In protest in 2015.
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New York State’s legislators and governor should back a proposed law to help end child marriage in New York. In the period from 2001 to 2010, 3,850 children under the age of 18 married in New York State. Child marriage is any marriage of a person under…