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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.

Rhadia was married at 16 and has lived with her husband and in-laws for over 8 years by whom she is physically abused.

He upsets me a lot, and he beats me. One day he beat me because of his mother. She tells him that I don’t do anything at home. I had problems [with my husband and in-laws] when I first had my son, but I can’t leave now because of my children...They [my family and in-laws] ruined me. They ruined my life


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