Almost half of girls in South Asia marry before the age of 18: UNICEF

11 Sep 2014

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Children at the Motael Camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), Dili, Timor-Leste. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Too many young girls are giving birth in South Asia, according to the UN’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

On Thursday, UNICEF released a report on the latest trends and data on children across South Asia.

One of the key findings is that 46 per cent of girls marry before the age of 18, and 18 per cent marry before the age of 15.

Karen Hulshof is UNICEF’s Regional Director in South Asia.

“There are still a lot of pregnancies that take place under the age of 18 for girls. That means that they have five times more likelihood to die during delivery. The bodies are not yet ready. Yet the future will be different if you deliver a baby after age 18. You are much better fit for the delivery. “(0’21”)

Ms Hulshof added that South Asia is one of the riskiest places in the world to fall pregnant or give birth with the second highest number of deaths worldwide.

UNICEF’s report presents the latest innovations which can transform and improve the situation for children in South Asia.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration:  1’06″

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