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Child marriage a scourge for millions of girls

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child considers marriage before the age of 18 a human rights violation, but the reasons for it vary from country to country and are complex.  Full story.

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Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Child bride Krishna (R), 12, laughs with her husband Kishan Gopal, 14, at her house in a village near Baran, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, July 30. The legal age for marriage in India is 18, but marriages like these are common, especially in poor, rural areas where girls in particular are married off young. Some 47 percent of women aged between 20 and 24 years old were married before the age of 18, according to the government's latest National Family Health Survey.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

Child bride Krishna,11, sits during a marriage ceremony at her husband's home in a village near Kota, located in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, in this May 16, 2010 file photo. The legal age for marriage in India is 18, but weddings like these are common, especially in poor, rural areas where girls in particular are married off young. Some 47 percent of women aged between 20 and 24 years old are married before the age of 18, according to the government's latest National Family Health Survey.

Reuters

Sapna Meena, 15, stands in front of her house in the remote Indian village of Badakakhera in Bhilwara District in the western state of Rajasthan, in this June 22 file photo. In April, her family wanted her to become a child bride -- an illegal yet common practice in this part of India. With the support of the local authorities, she convinced her family to stop the wedding plans and became a role model for other girls in the village who also resisted child marriage. India is considered a child marriage 'hotspot', with 45 percent of women married before the legal age of 18, according to the International Centre for Research on Women.