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Underage marriages in Pakistan and education and child labour in the world

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in Pakistan, approximately 4.6 million people got married before the age of 15 and 18.9 million before the age of 18. A case of an arranged marriage of a five-year-old girl was reported in October this year. The highest number of underage marriages occurs in the tribal areas of Pakistan, where almost all brides marry before age of 18. Setting a minimum age of marriage in Pakistan is opposed by religious parties.

According to a UNICEF study, 21% of French children live below the poverty line, and nearly 5,700 live in slums in mainland France. 30,000 children live in hotels – considered inappropriate for family life – and 1,600 minors have no accommodation. The violation of children’s rights in France is compounded by the treatment of migrant minors. According to UNICEF France calculations, “at least 33,786 children have been detained since 2012”, mainly in Mayotte, a French overseas territory where migrants from Comoros arrive.

In 2021, nine out of 10 countries in the world saw a decline in progress indicators for education and child labour prohibition due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the global economic crisis. Currently, 244 million children worldwide do not have access to education. They are 3.4 times more likely to be married before the age of 18 than their peers. In addition, by the end of 2022, a total of almost 169 million minors will be forced to work (8.9 million more than in the previous year).

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