Still, girls remain overlooked, under-protected and all too often ignored for all their potential, writes War Child UK.
Raped. Abused. Sold. Trafficked. Exploited. Tortured. Killed. Millions of the girls of today's world face the threat, trauma and consequence of the gravest violations to their rights. It would be unacceptable if there was just one case – but the true scale of this violence, abuse and neglect is beyond criminal. Still, girls remain overlooked, under-protected and all too often ignored for all their potential. Girls are survivors as well as they are victims; they should have their childhoods today and the choice of being the mothers of tomorrow.
International Day of the Girl this year focuses on the issue of early child marriage - a problem as undeniable as it is ignored. The facts are stark, but these girls are not just a statistic:
Fahima, a girl from a War Child project in Afghanistan, was forced to marry a man twice her age when she was only 13 years old. In result of the physical abuse and the restrictions from her husband, she decided to leave his house with the help of her cousin. The police took this asa criminal offence of adultery. As a result, Fahima was sentenced to 10 months in prison (in a Juvenile Rehabilitation Centre).
War Child sees individual cases like that of Fahima on a day to day basis, across the globe.
In Uganda, in order to help the young people speak out against this issue without putting themselves at personal risk, War Child worked with UK animator Ellie Land alongside 9 young Ugandan’s to create a video that made the unthinkable easier to discuss in the traditional Karamajong society. This video toured local villages with a mobile cinema to screen it to the locals and help young people address the issue within their communities.
With many having never seen a television, this drew big crowds!
National governments and the international community have a responsibility, as signatories to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to do everything within their means to protect girls like these from losing their childhoods and forfeiting their most basic rights. Today is a chance to reflect on honoring that commitment.