- Conflict and Girl Child Marriage : Global Evidence
Child marriage has lasting negative health, human capital, and welfare consequences. Conflict settings are characterized by a number of complex changes that can potentially increase the risk of child marriage, but there has been limited population-based research directly estimating the relationship between conflict and child marriage. Using Demographic and Health Survey data from 19 conflict-affected countries, this paper estimates the relationship between conflict and child marriage. It identifies the relationship based on variation over space and time in conflict intensity. The findings are mixed; in some countries conflict is associated with an increase in child marriage, in others it is associated with a decrease in child marriage, and in some cases there is not a statistically significant relationship. This overall pattern is robust to a variety of approaches to measuring conflict. These findings underscore how efforts to reduce child marriage need to consider conflict as a potential risk factor, but also one that is likely to interact with local economic, social, and demographic environments.