A report from Plan UK reveals that one girl is married off every
three-and-a-half seconds worldwide and young men and boys are also
The Breaking Vows study cautions that in the UK, some families of
LGBT young people try to force them into marriage because of fears
about their sexuality.
"All young people have the right to decide when and who to marry,"
says Rowan Harvey, policy and advocacy officer for Plan UK.
"Along with corrective rape, forced marriage as a strategy for
altering a young person's sexual orientation is a gross violation
of their rights."
The UK government's Forced Marriage Unit has reported a growing
number of calls from young LGBT people.
Overall, the centre received more than 1,700 requests for help
"The problem is dramatically under-reported and affects young
people across the globe, in developed and developing countries,"
explains Ms Harvey.
UK activist Jasvinder Sanghera is backing Plan's Because I Am A
Girl campaign and the charity's petition to end forced marriage -
Take The Vow.
She was disowned by her family at 16 for refusing to wed a man she
had never met - and received death threats after setting up the
UK's first forced marriage helpline.
"I'm a survivor of forced marriage and it is a horrific form of
abuse," says Sanghera.
"It's extremely important that we tackle early and forced
marriage, whether it happens here or in Africa, Asia, or other
parts of the world."
In the world's poorest countries, one in seven girls, under the
age of 15, will become child brides. Girls aged 10-14 are five
times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth, than women
Any girl forced to marry early in these regions, is less likely to
finish her education.
"What links young men and women coerced into wedlock in the UK,
and around the world, is the denial of choices," says Marie
Staunton, CEO of Plan UK.
"We believe the human rights of young people should always be
upheld, whether they are in the UK or the developing
Visit the Plan UK site here for