In this report, Plan is calling for urgent, concerted and integrated action at local, national and international levels to enable millions of girls to avoid child marriage, stay in school and benefit from a quality education. Plan draws attention to the barriers stopping many girls from realising their right to quality education, which, in turn, increases their risk of marrying too young. Financial barriers and harmful gender norms can drive parents to prioritise sons’ education over that of daughters’ – often on the assumption that girls will marry soon anyway. Many parents also fear for their daughters’ safety in school. The onset of puberty makes girls more vulnerable to sexual violence, harassment and abuse by teachers, staff and other pupils. Poor teaching and unsupportive environments make girls less likely to pass critical examinations needed to access higher levels of education. Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign aims to ensure that girls receive a quality primary education and can transition to, and successfully complete, secondary school. It seeks to enable girls to have more choices in life, to allow them to play an active role in their community.

This report offers findings, analysis and recommendations to end child marriage, including through education.

The report documents how child marriage prevents girls and women from participating in all spheres of life and how the practice violates their rights, including the right to education. It is based on in-depth interviews with 80 girls and women in six districts in southern and central Malawi. Interviews were also conducted with government officials, magistrates, child protection workers, police officers in charge of child protection, social welfare officers, traditional and religious leaders, health workers, teachers, legal and women’s rights experts, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations, and donor organizations.
 
The report describes factors contributing to child marriage, the severe consequences of child marriage, the risks that girls face when they resist these marriages, and the abuses they frequently face in marriage. It also examines the absence of protection for victims of child marriage and the many obstacles they face in attempting to obtain redress; as well as shortcomings in existing programs to combat child marriage.
 
The report reviews Malawi's laws and international obligations on child marriage as well as on the right to education and makes concrete recommendations to the Malawi government.
 

The government of Malawi should increase efforts to end widespread child and forced marriage, or risk worsening poverty, illiteracy, and preventable maternal deaths in the country.
According to government statistics, half of the girls in Malawi will be married by their 18th birthday, with some as young as age 9 or 10 being forced to marry. Malawi faces many economic challenges, but the rights of girls and women, including the right to education, should not be sacrificed as a result.

 

 

 

 

 

More than 40 percent of Tanzania’s adolescents are left out of quality lower-secondary education despite the government’s positive decision to make lower-secondary education free.

This report examines obstacles, including some rooted in outmoded government policies, that prevent more than 1.5 million adolescents from attending secondary school and cause many students to drop out because of poor quality education. The problems include a lack of secondary schools in rural areas, an exam that limits access to secondary school, and a discriminatory government policy to expel pregnant or married girls.

For a summary, see here.

For an esay to read version, in English, see here.

This report provides analysis of legal minimum ages for education, marriage, employment and criminal responsibility across 187 countries and raises questions regarding the cross-section of these issues and their effect on the right to education. Based on States Parties’ reports to the CRC Committee and analysed through the lens of the 4As, the report stresses the fundamental importance of eliminating contradictory legislation and practices that still undermine the right to education.
 
This report analyses national legislation on the duration of compulsory education and legal safeguards against adult responsibilities infringing on children's education. It shows that children's right to education is under threat from early marriage, child labour and imprisonment. The key question which this report addresses is concordance or discord among different ages at which children should be - or can be - in school, at work, married, or taken before a court and/or in prison. The relationship between school, work, marriage and criminal responsibility should be addressed within child-rights policy in individual countries. However, few countries have elaborated this as yet. Moreover, minimum and maximum ages tend to be set by different laws and are often mutually contradictory. Inconsistency between compulsory education and the full range of children's rights risks jeopardising the full development of the child’s personality, the key aim of education in human rights law.
Key resource
This report provides analysis of legal minimum ages for education, marriage, employment and criminal responsibility across 187 countries and raises questions regarding the cross-section of these issues and their effect on the right to education. Based on States Parties’ reports to the CRC Committee and analysed through the lens of the 4As, the report stresses the fundamental importance of eliminating contradictory legislation and practices that still undermine the right to education. The annotated version contains excerpts from State reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
Key resource

This report provides analysis of legal minimum ages for education, marriage, employment and criminal responsibility across 187 countries and raises questions regarding the cross-section of these issues and their effect on the right to education. Based on States Parties’ reports to the CRC Committee and analysed through the lens of the 4As, the report stresses the fundamental importance of eliminating contradictory legislation and practices that still undermine the right to education.