PA violates human rights with child marriage. UN shrugs

Tuvia Brodie,

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לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Tuvia Brodie
Tuvia Brodie has a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh under the name Philip Brodie. He has worked for the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham College and American Express. He and his wife made aliyah in 2010. All of his children have followed. He believes in Israel's right to exist. He believes that the words of Tanach (the Jewish Bible) are meant for us. His blog address is http://tuviainil.blogspot.com He usually publishes 3-4 times a week on his blog and 1-3 times at Arutz Sheva. Please check the blog regularly for new posts.

According to the United Nations, a 17 year old girl who marries or enters into a marriage-like union with a man is classified as a 'child bride' ("Child marriage: overview", unfpa.org, February 8, 2017). The UN considers such unions to be child marriages. The UN considers each such marriage to be a human rights violation (ibid).


In countries classified by the UN as 'developing' (that is, poor), one in every three girls is married before the age of 18. One in nine is married under the age of 15 (ibid). 


Across the world, 15 million girls each year become child brides ("Child brides around the world", icrw, retrieved March 7, 2017). Some 700 million women alive today were child brides (ibid).


The UN finds that child marriages are bad for the child. For one thing, such marriages directly threaten a child's health (ibid). The reason for this threat is that child marriages often leads to pregnancy--even if the child bride is not physically or mentally ready for childbirth. In fact, in developing countries, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are among the leading cause of death for adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 (ibid). 


In these poor countries, child brides also carry an increased health risk for another reason. They are too often exposed to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. 


Child marriages in these poor countries typically compromise a child bride's opportunities for education, career and vocational advancement ("Child marriage is a violation of human rights, but is also too common", unicef, February 2017). Such a union also exposes the child bride to an increased risk of domestic violence (ibid).


The lot of a child bride in these impoverished cultures is not a happy one. Marriage doesn't free the child. it comes too often close to enslaving the child.


Child marriages harm the young. That harm happens all the time in the Palestinian Authority. 


According to statistics just published by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, twenty percent of PA girls marry before the age of 18 ("A human rights violation no one discusses: child marriages in Palestinian territories", elderofziyon, March 7, 2017). In the Gaza City area, more than forty percent of girls marry before age 18. In Hevron, the rate of child marriage is greater than thirty-six percent (ibid).


Each marriage is a human rights violation. Each marriage exposes young girls to danger and a potential for abuse. 


At the UN, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women says these children have the right to be protected. The leaders of Gaza and the PA aren't offering that protection. Why won't the UN help? 


Over the last 66+ years, there have probably been more UN workers assigned to the Palestinian Authority than most every place else in the world. Why haven't these legions of humanitarians protected the young girls? 


If you think that Arabs throughout the region closest to Israel are just like the PA, you'd be wrong. For this abhorrent, repulsive human rights violation, the PA and Gaza stand alone in their brutality towards their own children: 


-In Jordan, child marriage does not exceed eight percent. 


-In Egypt, the rate is seventeen percent.


-In Syria, the child marriage rate is thirteen percent.


Even in that hell-hole called Syria, where close to half-a-million people have been killed since 2011 in a vicious civil war, children are better protected from these under-age marriages than children in the PA.  


The PA violates the human rights of its youngest, most vulnerable residents. Despite all the UN people roaming through PA neighborhoods and teaching in PA schools, no one among them speaks out. 


-Have you seen any headlines in international media condemning the PA for this abuse?


-Have you heard any European leader calling for the UN to take action against this rights violation?


-Have you read of any UN employee in the PA condemning the PA for this rights abuse?


You've heard nothing. 


I guess the UN has no time for these child brides. Apparently, demonizing the Jews of Israel to PA schoolchildren is so important, there's no time or energy left to protect young girls.