MEDIA ADVISORY

High-Level Meeting on Ending Child Marriage in West and Central Africa

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WHAT: The High-Level Meeting on Ending Child Marriage marks the beginning of the biggest ever combined push to end child marriage in West and Central Africa. The event brings together, for the first time in the region, many governments, international organisations, religious and traditional leaders, women’s groups, youth groups and civil society with the aim of building a consensus on actions needed to move from existing commitments towards tangible, measurable actions to end the practice for good.

WHEN: Monday 23RD to Wednesday 25TH October 2017

WHERE: King Fahd Palace Hotel, Route des Almadies – Dakar, Senegal

WHO: Hosted by the Government of Senegal, the meeting is coordinated by a regional coalition of civil society organisations (Forum for African Women Educationalist - FAWE, Girls Not Brides, Plan International, Save the Children International, Women in Law and Development in Africa - WiLDAF and World Vision International) and the United Nations (UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women).

WHY: Child marriage is a severe violation of human rights. It denies girls their childhood and their rights to health, education and opportunities. If current trends continue, nearly half of all child brides in the world in 2050 will be in Africa.

West and Central Africa has the highest prevalence rate of child marriage in Africa and in the world.  Six out of the 10 countries with highest rates worldwide are in the region: Niger (76.3%), the Central African Republic (68%), Chad (68%), Mali (55%) and Guinea (52%).

While a growing number of countries have taken initial steps to address the problem, and while recent data shows a small decline, tangible actions are need to move from broad commitments to measurable progress.

There has been a growing momentum and recognition of the need to end child marriage, including a target within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework and the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa, which has been launched in 12 countries in the West and Central Africa region.

NB: A press conference will be held on 23rd October following the official opening by President Macky Sall. It is thus advised that press arrive early (08:00) in order to be cleared by security and receive press passes.

The conference venue will include a dedicated Media Zone with panel discussions and events with some of the high profile guests which will run throughout the three days.

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For more information about the High-Level Meeting and its work visit: https://endingchildmarriage.com

Follow us on social media with the following hashtags:

-         #HLMWCA17

-         #EndChildMarriage

 

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

Fatou Binetou Dia, Communications Officer, External Communication and Public Advocacy Mobile: +221 77 655 44 16; Email: fbdia@unicef.org

Mike Sunderland: Regional Media Manager, Save the Children International

Mobile: +221 77 155 92 34; Email: mike.Sunderland@savethechildren.org