Document Type

Honors Project


Child marriage is one of the largest global human rights concerns today; one in three girls worldwide under age eighteen are married, negatively impacting their health, economic wellbeing, and education. While studies have been done on child marriage outside of conflict and, separately, on gender-based violence in armed conflict, little is known about what happens to child marriage in situations of armed conflict. This paper argues that child marriage in situations of armed conflict has both cultural and economic drivers, as is the case outside of conflict. Using the case of Syria, it shows that the effects of conflict, including host government policies and forced migration, can also act as a shock to an environment with preexisting drivers of child marriage to facilitate, further incentivize, and even demand the practice of child marriage. Aid organizations, governments, and communities must acknowledge child marriage as a long-term symptom of war that endures after peace is reached.



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