>>Child marriage and child betrothal customs occur in various times and places, whereby children are given in matrimony - before marriageable ageas defined by the commentator and often before puberty. Today such customs are fairly widespread in parts of Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America: in former times it occurred also in Europe. It is frequently associated with arranged marriage. In some cases only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female, due to importance placed upon female virginity, the perceived inability of women to work for money and to women's shorter reproductive life relative to men's. An increase in the advocacy of human rights, whether as women's rights or as children's rights, has caused traditions of child marriage to decrease in many areas. In 2011, a non-governmental organization known as The Elders, founded by Nelson Mandela and others, formed Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 190 non-governmental organisations committed to addressing child marriage. >In certain countries, it is customary for families to choose who the husband or wife of their offspring will be. Consequently, it often happens that a young man or a young woman will be married without his or her consent. This is what is known as a forced marriage. Forced marriages constitute a human rights violation because such a practice violates the basic principle of what marriage is (a joining together in wedlock of two freely consenting individuals) and impedes a person’s physical liberty and as well as his or her ability to decide for him- or herself what his future will be.
Forced marriages involving an individual under the age of 18 are most commonly called child marriages. Young girls are most often the ones affected by this practice. While they are still very young, sometimes at birth, their family chooses the husband to whom they will be married as soon as they reach puberty and can bear children.
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