An estimated 15 million girls around the world are married every year before they turn 18, often with no choice about when or whom they marry. Child marriage is practiced across all religions, ethnicities and continents. Girls who are married as children are robbed of their youth, their education, their health, and their futures.

This brief advises the US government on the specific, concrete actions it can take to advance the rights and empowerment of adolescent girls and end child, early, and forced marriage. By advancing girls’ rights, US foreign policy will be more effective and efficient at fostering global equality, justice, human rights, and development.

IWHC co-authored this brief as co-chair of Girls Not Brides USA, a coalition of more than 50 US-based organizations committed to working together to end child, early, and forced marriage worldwide. Girls Not Brides USA is an affiliate of the Girls Not Brides global partnership, which includes more than 450 civil society organizations from 70 countries.