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Child marriage refers to a marital union, formal or informal (e.g., cohabitation), where at least one individual is below the age of 18. (Often, the marriage takes place without the prior knowledge of the minor or against his or her will.) It is a violation of human rights according to international law (e.g., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) and tends to occur predominantly in developing countries, affecting a disproportionate number of girls and perpetuating disadvantage. Child marriage must be contested if the Sustainable Development Goals, currently being established by all United Nations member countries and leading development institutions, are to be achieved post 2015 and living standards raised. This article examines the factors ...

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