Photo by Stephanie Sinclair @stephsinclairpix // Portrait of Matthias Phiri, Program Coordinator for LifeSavers Zambia, which has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world with 31% of women aged 20-24 years married by the age of 18 according to UNICEF. In communities outside Zambia’s capital city of Lusaka, Matthias Phiri meets regularly with traditional leaders, faith-based organizations, school and police officials, and other prominent locals to strategize ways to combat child marriage. Members of his ever-growing circle keep an eye out for children who are at risk of getting married and intervene if necessary, pulling vulnerable children out of harm’s way, providing them counseling, re-enrolling them in school and, in some cases, pursuing legal remedies against the perpetrators of child marriage. The biggest challenge, he said, is the discord between the country’s statutory laws, which set the minimum marriage age at 21, and its customary laws, which allow for much greater latitude. In March 2016, the Government of Zambia adopted a five-year national action plan to end child marriage. The Convention on the Rights of the Child recommend counties set a minimum age of marriage to 18 for both men and women.
This image is part of a 175-image exhibition titled “Too Young to Wed,” which is the inaugural exhibition at the new L’Arche du Photojournalisme, atop at the prestigious Grand Arche de la Defense in Puteaux, Paris. Many of the images were made #onassignmentfor @natgeo. The show, which opened June 1 and runs through Sept. 24, is complete with educational information about the dangers of #childmarriageand the efforts underway around the world to end the practice – including our work at our nonprofit organization of the same name, @TooYoungToWed. @letoitdelagrandearche #zambia #color #champions #everydayafrica #red #change #inspiration #endchildmarriage #letgirlslearn #heforshe #girls