1. Early and forced marriage among Syrian refugee girls in Jordan have doubled since the start of the civil war in 2011, a new report has revealed.
2. Save the Children says extreme poverty and increasing fears of sexual violence among refugee communities mean some parents feel they have no choice but to marry their daughters to keep them “protected”.
3. In pre-conflict Syria, 13% of all marriages involved children, but that rate has doubled among refugees who have fled to Jordan. And 48% of child brides are being forced to marry men ten years older than they are.
4. Girls at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan recently attended sessions designed to raise awareness of the dangers of child marriage.
5. They were asked to produce drawings based on what they had learned in the sessions and witnessed in their communities.
6. In this picture the girl asks: “Daddy, where is this man taking me? Is it to the park?”
7. Here are some of the powerful images created by the girls:
17. Commenting on the issue, Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children, said: “Child marriage is devastating for those girls concerned.”
“Girls who marry before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence than their peers who marry later, and they have much more limited access to sexual and reproductive health, putting their young bodies at extreme risk if and when they become pregnant.”
18. The report says that families feel child marriage is the best way to protect girls and ease family resources.
However, there are also some cases of mothers rejecting the practice to allow their children to complete their education.