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"The health of adolescent girls is everyone's business. We all need to step up to the plate to embrace this ambitious agenda."—Melinda Gates.

Child marriage is a marriage or similar union, formal or informal, between a child under a certain age – typically age 18 – and an adult or another child.

The vast majority of child marriages are between a girl and a man, and are rooted in gender inequality.

Although in most countries, the age of majority otherwise known as legal adulthood and marriageable age are usually designated at age 18, both vary across countries, and therefore the marriageable age may be older or younger in a given country. It is worthy to note however that where the age is set at 18 years, there are countries in which cultural traditions override legislation and many jurisdictions permit earlier marriage with parental consent or in exceptional circumstances, such as teenage pregnancy.

We can’t always share pictures like this one so it’s extra special when we can. Meet Rani and her new family!

Rani came to our shelter in Delhi when she was 6 years old after being found at a nearby railway station. She had traveled to Delhi with her parents, but, suddenly, Rani was alone. At first, Rani struggled and often isolated herself … crying for her parents. Eventually, she felt comfortable and embraced those around her. For 5 years, we have made countless efforts with the help of the authorities and child protection to find her family, but we have been unsuccessful.

At the top of her class, Rani now studies in year 5 and has been praying to God for a new family. On May 20th, her prayers were answered. This couple, never having had children of their own, have been counselled and trained to become her guardians and now have a daughter of their own.

Rani’s story may take place in India, but the journey of caring for her and restoring her with family is a priority for all our teams. We do not take short-cuts, and, often we undertake significant research, challenging travel, co-operation with other agencies, therapeutic care, ongoing support and more to reunite a child with family or find alternative family care. This can take several months or longer, but every child deserves a family… of this we are certain.

Please support our teams today so that we can continue to accept children like Rani into our care and help them find home. Every gift matters!

How can the government work alongside organisations in other sectors, including all groups and individuals in British society, to shape the national approach to modern slavery? This post provides a discussion of why this multifaceted strategy is the most effective way forward.

Modern Slavery is not a new threat facing the UK, but indeed an ancient, entangled and evolving issue that we have come to accept as a ‘given’ in today’s society. And yet in the same breath we are shocked by the number and forms of slavery revealed to be entrapped in British culture and supply chains. We are both regularly apathetic and yet indignant at the prevalence and impact of the issue. For an interesting contrast, according to the estimate from the Global Slavery Index (GSI)...

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