U.S. Fund for UNICEF U.S. Fund for UNICEF

2012 Child Marriage (Representatives)

Urge Your U.S. Representative to Support Legislation that Protects Young Girls from Child Marriage

Though the United States supports many programs that assist children and mothers, there is no specific U.S. Government focus on the problem of child marriage. Bipartisan legislation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate would bolster U.S. efforts to prevent child marriage. Both bills require a strategy to incorporate child marriage prevention into existing development, health, and education programs; and set aside funding for programs to prevent child marriage.

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  • Your Representative

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Please Cosponsor the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act

Dear [Decision Maker],

I am writing to urge you to cosponsor H.R. 6087, the bipartisan International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2012.

I am writing to urge you to cosponsor H.R. 6087, the bipartisan International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2012.

Child marriage is a harmful traditional practice and a violation of human rights. Even so, it is a fact of life for too many children around the world. In some areas of the world, marriage at age 10--or even younger--is not uncommon. Child marriage often leads to separation from family and friends, lack of freedom to interact with peers and participate in community activities, and decreased opportunities for education and economic participation.

Girls married at a young age face serious health risks from pregnancy and childbirth. Girls under age 16 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women ages 20 to 24; girls ages 16 to 19 are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their twenties. In addition, childhood pregnancy may lead to stunting for both mother and baby.

There are proven approaches that help communities around the world abandon the practice of child marriage. This legislation would require the U.S. Government to incorporate strategies to fight child marriage into existing development, health, and education programs. It also authorizes funding for programs to prevent child marriage and to help children already married, and requires the State Department to include research on child marriage in its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

Please cosponsor H.R. 6087, and help ensure that our Government is a leader in addressing child marriage. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]