The African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage was launched on May 29, 2014, to promote, protect, and advocating for the rights of women and girls in Africa. The campaign is based on advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, and the facilitation of technical assistance and capacity building. The campaign has two phases: the first phase ran from 2014 to 2017, and the second phase from 2018 to 2023.
The first phase of the campaign focused on raising awareness and building momentum for the campaign, while the second phase focuses on accelerating the end of child marriage in Africa. The second phase includes the development of a continental strategy to end child marriage, the establishment of a monitoring and evaluation framework, and the implementation of targeted interventions in countries with high prevalence rates of child marriage. The African Union has in the last ten years, also registered progress in the reduction of these harmful traditional practices as a result of a vital member state and stakeholder commitments in the form of legislative reforms and financial and technical resources allocation to drive affirmative actions at all levels.
In addition, as an incentive to these member state and partner efforts and to provide physical strategic advocacy, consultative, peer learning and roadmap formulation space, the African Union has convened together with member states 3 African Girls Summits since 2015:
Key to the success of these continental consultative meetings was the presence and engagement of girls, boys and women in shaping discussions about them, voicing their perspectives, aspirations and expectations from the leaders and stakeholders in attendance, and committing to end harmful traditional practices.
To accelerate the end of child marriage in Africa by enhancing continental awareness of the effects of child marriage
To create a society where girls and women are free from all forms of discrimination and violence and enjoy their rights and full potential
- Accelerate the end of child marriage in Africa
- Promote the effective implementation of AU legal and policy instruments with a bearing on young people/adolescents, especially the Girl-child, promoting the fulfilment of their human rights
- Mobilize continental awareness of the negative socio-economic impact of child marriage
To achieve these objectives, the campaign has implemented various strategies, including:
- Advocacy: The campaign has engaged in advocacy efforts to raise awareness of the negative impact of child marriage on girls and women in Africa
- Capacity building: The campaign has facilitated technical assistance and capacity building to support the implementation of legal and policy actions in the protection and promotion of human rights
- Monitoring and evaluation: The campaign has implemented monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to track progress and identify areas for improvement