UN Aims to End Child Marriage by 2030, Associated Press
Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu said Thursday he is as committed to abolishing child marriage around the globe as he was to fighting apartheid in South Africa.
The U.N. Population Fund says about 37,000 girls under age 18 are being married off daily, at a pace rising toward 14.2 million a year by 2020, and 15.1 million a year by 2030, if the trend is not curbed.
Tutu made his remarks at the launch of U.N. campaign to end child marriage by 2030, in a bid to free girls from poverty, ignorance and oppression at the hands of their husbands.
No other nation in the developed world routinely tortures its children in this manner. And torture is indeed the word brought to mind by a shocking report released today by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. Growing Up Locked Down documents, for the first time, the widespread use of solitary confinement on youth under the age of 18 in prisons and jails across the country, and the deep and permanent harm it causes to kids caught up in the adult criminal justice system.
Last fall the Gage Gallery exhibited Taryn Simon’s portraits of people wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, followed in winter by Lloyd DeGrane’s black-and-white photographs of life inside Illinois jails and Lori Waselchuk’s images of inmates dying in a Louisiana penitentiary’s hospice ward, shown in the spring. Now, the gallery is presenting “Juvenile-in-Justice,” a traveling exhibition of color photographs by Richard Ross that looks at incarceration from the perspective of kids locked up in group homes and correctional facilities across the country.
As you might expect, those pictures aren’t pretty.
A text panel thumbtacked to the gallery wall details the grim statistics. On any given day in the U.S. there are approximately 70,000 minors who are either being detained or serving time in juvenile facilities, a number close to five times that of the next highest country, South Africa. At this moment, 73 youths are serving life without parole for crimes they committed when they were 14 or younger. And in 22 states and the District of Columbia, kids as young as 7 can be tried and sentenced as adults.