To mark the fourth Brussels Conference and the tenth year of the Syria crisis World Vision launched Stolen Future: War and Child Marriage in Northwest Syria.
The Report draws on research undertaken by World Vision and Partners between January and April 2020 during the displacement of close to one million people in northwest Syria, reveals the harrowing realities faced by children including a significant increase in child marriage with the practice widely reported by close to 90 percent of Syrian children and adults.
Conflict and insecurity, poverty, and displacement were identified as the leading drivers of the increased rates of forced and early marriage, with additional and emerging drivers identified including the use of social media and challenges posed to family honour. On the dire conditions and displacement one father noted
“Life in camps is dangerous for boys and girls. It is not safe, nor are there any of the basic necessities of life. There is no medical treatment and they are deprived of an education. It is not acceptable, but someone living with five children in one tent may marry his daughter off at a young age to try and give her a chance to live a better life. [Child marriage] has increased a lot recently.”
Findings from the report revealed the distinct and disproportionate risks posed to adolescent girls with more than half identifying the fear of sexual exploitation and abuse as a driver of forced early marriage. The consequences of early and forced marriage for adolescent girls are multiple and severe including early pregnancies and complications as one 15-year-old bride noted
“During my first pregnancy I thought I was going to die. I was in labour for two days, then the baby died. I suffered a lot during my first pregnancy, because my body was still not well developed.”
Read the full report on Stolen Future: War and Child Marriage in Northwest Syria here.
For further details on the Report and World Visions Humanitarian Response in Syria please follow this link: http://wvi.org/syria-response