Girls all over the world are being deprived of their childhoods by being forced into early marriages. Who can forget the video released this summer of Nada al-Ahdal, the 11-year-old who escaped a forced union in Yemen. Nada told the world she’d “rather die” than live her life bound to the older man her parents had chosen for her.
In the U.K., the government and other organizations tried to raise awareness about the issue as school let out for summer break, the season when many parents take their children abroad to oblige them to wed. Girls who suspected as much were encouraged to place metal spoons in their underwear to attract the attention of airport security who could help lead them to safety.
Another step toward emphasizing the importance of protecting young girls from heinous acts such as these is the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated on Oct. 11. In honor of this day, global human rights group Breakthrough released a statement regarding forced marriage in India.