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UN Human Rights Council Resolution: Strengthening Efforts to Prevent and Eliminate Child, Early, and Forced Marriage

Published September 25, 2013

On September 25, 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed resolution A/HRC/24/L.34, requesting a report to guide a panel discussion at the twenty-sixth session, on the challenges, achievements, best practices, and implementation gaps for preventing and eliminating child marriage.

Strengthening efforts to prevent and eliminate child, early and forced marriage: challenges, achievements, best practices and implementation gaps

The Human Rights Council, Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as other relevant human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices similar to Slavery,

Reaffirming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences,

Recalling the commitment to the full and effective implementation of and follow - up to all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Counc il and their subsidiary bodies,

Deeply concerned that the practice of child, early and forced marriage is widespread and occurs in all regions of the world , and recognizing that it constitutes a violation , abuse or impairment of human rights , that it prevents individuals from living their lives free from all forms of violence and that it has adverse consequences on the enjoyment of human rights, such as the right to education, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health,

Recalling States' human rights obligations and commitments to prevent and eliminate the practice of child, early and forced marriage, which disproportionately affects women and girls,

Deeply concerned by the impact of deep - rooted gender inequalities, norms and stereotypes, and harmful traditional practices, perceptions and customs that are obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights, in particular of women and girls, and are among the primary causes of child, early a nd forced marriage,

Recognizing that child, early and forced marriage continues to be an impediment to not only the economic, legal, health and social status of women and girls but to the development of the community as a whole, and that the empowerment of and investment in women and girls, as well as their meaningful participation in decisions that affect them, is a key factor in breaking the cycle of gender inequality and discrimination, violence and poverty and is critical for sustainable d evelopment and economic growth,

Recognizing also that the complex and challenging nature of child, early and forced marriage necessitates the collective efforts of Governments, lawmakers, judicial authorities, law enforcement officials, traditional and religious leaders , civil society, media, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders to address the root causes of this practice that exists in different economic, social and cultural settings,

Recognizing further that the persistence of child, early and forced marr iage contributes to impair ing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable and inclusive economic growth and social cohesion, and that therefore the elimination of child, early and force marriage should be considered in the discuss ion of the post - 2015 development agenda,

1. Decides to convene , at its twenty - sixth session , a panel discussion on preventing and eliminating child, early and forced marriage, with a particular focus on challenges, achievements, best practices and implemen tation gaps , and requests the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to liaise with States, relevant United Nations agencies , funds and programmes, relevant special procedures, civil society, including relevant children and y outh organizations, and national human rights institutions, with a view to ensuring their participation and also requests the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a summary report on the panel discussion;

2. Request s the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare a report, in consultation with States, United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, civil society and other relevant stakeholders, on preventing and eliminating child, early and forced marriage, with a par ticular focus on challenges, achievements, best practices and implementation gaps , to be submitted to the Human Rights Council prior to its twenty - sixth session , and to guide the panel discussion.

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