A new CBSN Originals documentary, airing on Sunday, May 7 at 8 p.m. EST on CBSN, travels to the Himalayan nation of Nepal to investigate the issue of child marriage. In Nepal, one in three girls under the age of 18 are married. Globally, one in 10 girls under the age of 15 are married. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That's 28 girls every minute -- one girl every two seconds.
CBSN's Reena Ninan traveled to a rural village to witness an illegal wedding firsthand, and meet one woman who escaped an arranged marriage in her teens and dedicated her life to campaigning against the practice. Rachana Sunar is a 22-year-old woman who lives in a village in Western Nepal. Her NGO, Sambad, hopes to empower the next generation of Nepali girls to reject marriages foisted upon them, enjoy their full childhood and gain a full education. The act of child marriage, which is punishable by jail time, has been illegal in Nepal since 1963. The culture of child marriage, however, is accepted there.
In 2014, Nepal pledged to end child marriage by 2020. But just two years later, it pushed back its goal to 2030.
Not just Nepal -- Child Marriage in the U.S.
The documentary continues as CBSN further explores the concept with a panel of experts, looking at, among other things, the alarming prevalence of child marriage in America, where marriages in the early teens are legal under circumstances in several states. CBSN will be joined by:
- Nisha Varia -- Advocacy Director Of Human Rights Watch's Women's Division
- Cornelius Williams -- Associate Director And Global Chief Of Unicef's Child Protection Program
- Rachel Vogelstein -- Council On Foreign Relations' Women And Foreign Policy Program Director
- Lakshmi Sundaram -- Executive Director At Girls Not Brides:
- Fraidy Reiss -- Founder And Executive Director At Unchained At Last
- Babatunde Osotimehin -- Executive Director Of The Un Population Fund
- Mabel Van Oranje -- Chairman Of The Board At Girls Not Brides