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2010 (Narrative date)

There are an estimated 85,000 people living in modern slavery in Yemen (GSI 2018). Young girls are subjected to child forced marriage, with UNICEF estimating 32% of girls being married before the age of 18. There is currently no legal age of marriage in Yemen and poverty, the practice of dowry and strict social and religious customs are drivers of child marriage in the country. With the onset of conflict within the country, estimates suggest that child marriage is on the rise.

Sawsan was forced to leave education early and get married when she was ten years old.

I only went to school until I was ten years old. I used to like to read and write. My [future] husband wanted me [for marriage] and everyone agreed in the family, so I agreed. I wanted to get married because it’s better than nothing.


Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”: Child Marriage in Yemen