In Uganda, 46% of girls are married before the age of 18, yet child marriage often goes unreported. Child rights advocates in the country are determined to do something about that and recently launched Girls Not Brides Uganda: the Alliance to End Early Marriage.

50 child rights organisations have formed Girls Not Brides Uganda in the belief that collective action is needed end to child marriage, a practice that robs thousands of girls of their human rights. Members of Girls Not Brides Uganda find that child marriage impedes nearly all aspects of their work, whether they provide children with access to quality education, empower families to become economically independent or work to improve women and girls’ health.

By establishing a nationwide partnership, Girls Not Brides Uganda members aim to start a dialogue at local, regional and national levels on ending early and forced marriage. They will also help to coordinate the work of organisations striving to end child marriage, and prompt increased involvement and funding from the Ugandan government and development partners.  Encouragingly, the launch of Girls Not Brides Uganda on 29 January was attended by the State Minister for Education and Sports.