Child marriage is extremely pervasive in South Asia where almost half of the girls are reported to be married before the age of 18 and almost 1 in 5 girls are married before the age of 15. This is a result of the interplay of economic and social forces.

Child marriage violates children’s rights and places them at high risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse. India has the largest number of brides in the world – one-third of the global total. Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage in Asia (the fourth highest rate in the world). Nepal has also one the highest rates of child marriage in Asia for both boys and girls.

This emphasizes the adverse social, health and developmental impacts on girls’ lives throughout South Asia.