“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Elizabeth Dole

But even while condemning child marriage overseas, the U.S. has failed to outlaw this practice in its own backyard. In order to lead in the fight against child marriage globally, the U.S. should bring domestic law in line with its commitments abroad. - Rachel Vogelstein, Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow and director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations

News - 23 Jul 2021

Georgia wins put Schumer in control of Senate, Democrats in charge of committee agenda
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Elaine Chao to resign as transportation secretary in wake of riot
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning, a White House official and a person familiar with the situation tell CNN. More
After Capitol riots, AOC demands Cruz, Hawley resign from the Senate
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Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao resigns after Capitol rioting
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced Thursday that she is stepping down from her post, a day after the rioting on Capitol Hill -- making her the latest member of the administration to resign over Trump’s conduct, and the first Cabinet member to do so. More
West Virginia lawmaker under pressure to resign after recording himself storming the US Capitol
A Republican lawmaker from West Virginia is being pressured to resign after posting and then deleting a video from social media of himself storming the nation's Capitol building Wednesday with hundreds of other pro-Trump protesters.  More

Ending Child Marriages in America:
Spreading Awareness and Protecting Our Most Vulnerable

Key Speakers

Casey Swegman, Project Manager, Forced Marriage Initiative, Tahirih Justice Center
Nankali Maksud, Coordinator Program on Ending Child Marriage, UNICEF
Dr. Michelle Aldrich, CTE State Director, Wyoming Department of Education

This event was held on Thursday, July 22nd 2021.

Overview

The terms child marriages probably conjures up colonial images of lesser developed countries for many who assume this is a long gone phenomenon in the western world. However, nothing could be further from the truth as child and forced marriages in the United States remains a pervasive issue. A 2018 study analyzing marriage license data from 41 states found that over 200,000 minors were married in the United States between 2000 and 2015 or 40 children a day. Despite the persisting issue of child marriage, there has been a consistent failure by the American government to take federal action to confront the problem Congress has failed to ratify the two UN conventions that are the bedrock of international denunciation of child marriage and is one of only 3 countries in the world to fail to ratify this treaty. Aside from this, America does not have any federal law on the books banning child marriage creating an ineffective patchwork of state laws. State child marriage laws are fraught with legal loopholes, and lack of age floors, proof of age requirements, and residency requirements have led to some states outright banning it while others facilitate child marriages. Beyond these legal loopholes there are still avenues to coerce children into unofficial marriages like conjugal cohabitation, marriage by adoption, marriage by contract or simply not registering the marriage until they reach legal age. Sadly these practices continue throughout America and are a recipe for years of trauma.

Like the global consequences of child marriage, the domestic consequences carry with them tremendous intergenerational and societal costs for America. While girls are predominantly impacted by this phenomenon it should be noted that young boys are also forced into these marriages with 87% girls and 13% boys making up these 200,000 coercive relationships. A different study, looking at the mental health of child brides in America, estimated between 8.9% and 11.96% of women are married as minors in the United States. While the general public often assumes that child marriage is issue that doesn’t pertain to America, it is widespread across the country today.The impacts of such arrangements can have alsting impacts as girls who marry before age 19 are 50 percent more likely to drop out of high school than their peers and four times less likely to finish college. From a health perspective, studies show that victims of child marriage in the U.S. are acutely vulnerable to higher rates of psychiatric disorders as well as physical, emotional, or verbal abuse. 

This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for case managers, social workers, community outreach specialists, healthcare and mental health practitioners, and other key stakeholders to reflect on progress made, identify challenges and consider next steps in addressing child marriages and forced marriages. Cross-sector exchange will help facilitate better partnerships between civil society, the private sector and government actors. It will allow delegates to consider solutions to identified barriers and challenges related to policy implementation. Participants will be able to transfer key learnings and best practices to their own communities whether at the local, state or national level.

 

Delegates Will

  • Share strategies to improve state by state collaboration and federal response 

  • Learn how to prevent child marriages across different sectors

  • Discuss how to empower children and give them agency 

  • Debate the best means of closing loopholes that allow child marriages to continue

  • Identify trauma-informed methods of helping minors who have been forced into marriage

  • Explore how to talk to young people about healthy relationships 

  • Address what should be done after a minor has been forced into a marriage

 

Program

 

9:30  Chair's Welcome and Introduction
9:40

Speaker Presentations and Q&A  

  • Share strategies to improve state by state collaboration and federal response
  • Learn how to prevent child marriages across different sectors
  • Discuss how to empower children and give them agency
  • Debate the best means of closing loopholes that allow child marriages to continue
  • Identify trauma-informed methods of helping minors who have been forced into marriage
  • Explore how to talk to young people about healthy relationships
  • Address what should be done after a minor has been forced into a marriage

 12:30

Open Floor Discussion and Debate
  13:00 Chair's Summary and Closing Comments
  13:10 Close **All Times as Presented are in the Pacific Time Zone**

Who Should Attend?

  • Religious leader
  • Educators 
  • Child psychologists 
  • Marriage officiants 
  • Domestic violence counselors
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Social workers
  • Community outreach specialists
  • Relocation service managers/Caseworkers
  • Benefits advocates
  • Community programs advocates
  • Family service coordinators
  • Family care coordinators
  • Youth advocates
  • Mental health clinicians/ specialists
  • Treatment/Substance abuse specialists
  • Public health managers/Administrators
  • City council representatives
  • City managers
  • County representatives
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Law enforcement
  • Community programs advocates
  • Mental health recovery managers/officers
  • Mental health consultants
  • Behavioral specialists
  • Child and family specialists
  • Child advocacy managers
  • Mental health technicians
  • Health and wellness advisors
  • Psychiatrists
  • Therapists
  • Clinicians
  • Nurses
  • Indian child welfare/education specialists
  • Researchers and academics

 

This event was held on Thursday, July 22nd 2021.

Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities

If you’re interested in promoting your company, products and/or services at our events, please click here to enter your details and we will contact you directly. Alternatively, please call
(424) 252-4716 for more information.

How to Book

(424) 252-4716
bookings.at.publicpolicyexchange.com