End Child Marriage in Syrian Refugee Camps!

  • by: Kristi Arnold
  • recipient: Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President and Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein, King of Jordan

Child marriage on the rise in Syrian refugee camps. And more girls than boys are victims of forced marriage. Girls are forced into marriage with older men, or are sexually assaulted and become pregnant. Child marriages must end in refugee camps in Jordan. Marriages must only be allowed for those 18 and older. Additionally, officials must address education for these children. Girls who aren't in school are more likely to marry when they are under 18 or when they get pregnant they cannot attend school. Maha, a 13-year-old, was forced to marry a 23-year-old at the age of 12 last year due to fear of sexual assault and financial concerns. "First of all, I didn't want to get married because I am too young, but my parents forced me to. Second of all, we heard about a lot of rape and kidnapping cases in Jordan. But no, not at all. I didn't want to get married. I am still young, and I wanted to finish my studies," says Maha. Maha is now pregnant. However, because of her age, her pregnancy is weak. She has not been to school since age 10. Ask Syrian and Jordanian officials to end child marriage and encourage education for its youth. A full quarter of Syrian refugee marriages involves a child under age 18. Syrian and Jordanian officials must more strictly enforce age requirements for marriage!

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