Field report: A Yemen free of forced child marriage


To support the growing movement demanding for an end to forced child marriage by making marriage under 18 illegal in Yemen.


Forced child marriage is a form of modern slavery, and in Yemen the problem is widespread as there is currently no law making it illegal. At the beginning of 2014, the movement to end forced child marriage in Yemen – led by the Yemeni Human Rights Minister, Hooria Mashour – was increasing its visibility. A transitional government body spoke up on the issue, by approving a proposal to make 18 the minimum age for marriage in the country’s new constitution.

Yemeni citizens have been leading the fight against this form of modern slavery and have intervened to stop forced child marriages as they took place. In addition to that, the Yemeni Human Rights Minister Hooria Mashour spoke out on the global stage, saying that ending forced child marriage in Yemen is a priority of her ministry.

Leading the fight to end forced child marriage in Yemen is a dangerous job. We heard from our partners on the ground that anti-slavery activists face death threats and attempted bombings on a regular basis. This made Minister Mashour’s action as a public advocate for ending forced child marriage incredibly brave and set an example for others. 10,990 Freedom United activists stood by her and sent their messages of support.


The political situation in Yemen is by no means stable and in 2015 it spiralled in a civil conflict, which derailed further progress towards ending this form of modern slavery.