21 Powerful Images Of Forced Marriage Drawn By Syrian Refugee Girls

One includes the caption: “Daddy, where is this man taking me? Is it to the park?”

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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.

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”.

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.

Commenting on the issue, Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children, said: "Child marriage is devastating for those girls concerned."

Rosie Thompson/Save the Children

"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."

The report says that families feel child marriage is the best way to protect girls and ease family resources.

Save the Children

However, there are also some cases of mothers rejecting the practice to allow their children to complete their education.

"These girls, who by fleeing the war in Syria have already been subjected to more than any child should, are at extreme risk of mental health issues resulting from social isolation, stress, and abuse," Forsyth added.

“The consequences for girls' health of engaging in sexual activity while their bodies are still developing are devastating: girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than fully grown women."