During the next 10 years, 14 million girls in different parts of the world are expected to experience child marriage – i.e. marriage before the age of 18 – each year. In developing countries, one in three women presently aged 20-24 were married or in a union before age 18 (UNFPA 2012).
In most countries, there are legal bans on marriage below a certain age. However, in poor countries, the laws are often ignored and rarely enforced. The enforcement problem is often exacerbated by the absence of a universal birth registration system which makes it difficult to verify the age