EFFECT OF CHILD MARRIAGE ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT This practice is inimical to child development because early marriage robs the young girl of the opportunity to be physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially ready for the responsibilities of marriage and childbearing. Early marriage increases social isolation and launches girls into a cycle of poverty, gender inequities, and higher risk of dying from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Early marriage forces young girls to assume responsibilities and handle situations for which they are often physically and psychologically unprepared. Furthermore, schooling-a critical pathway to a prosperous life-is often cut short by early marriage. Girls who are married are less likely to have an education. Often driven by poverty, families’ sacrifice the education of the girl child for that of the boy child and force the girl into marriage to relieve their financial burdens. Women and girls forced into marriage also face higher risks of death in child birth, mal nutrition, hazardous work and the worst forms of child labour. Following sustained advocacy against CEFM, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution to combat early marriage in September 2012. The resolution recognizes child, early and forced marriage as a human rights violation that “prevents individuals from living their lives free from all forms of violence” and negatively impacts the “right to education, and the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health. The Human Rights Council Proposed “the elimination of child, early and forced marriage should be considered in the discussion of the post -2015 development agenda”. The resolution also stressed the value of empowering and investing in women and girls for “breaking the cycle of gender inequality and discrimination, violence and poverty” and for bringing about “sustainable development and economic growth.