“To protect her honour”: Child marriage in emergencies – the fatal confusion between protecting girls and sexual violence

This report examines the issue of child marriage in the Syrian context, and what we can learn from our experiences there. It is the first in CARE’s Gender and Protection in Humanitarian Contexts: Critical Issues Series which aims to highlight promising practices and/or gaps in programming, and critically analyse work in the field of gender and protection in humanitarian contexts.

The report reviews the impact of the Syrian conflict on child marriage, drawing in particular on evidence from Jordan and from CARE’s Information Volunteer programme with Syrian refugees in Turkey. It explores the reasons for and the consequences of child marriage globally; considers the human rights and legal framework; and highlights the reasons behind the increase in child marriages in emergency contexts.

Based on this evidence, and on specific experience from the Syrian refugee crisis, the report makes the case for the prevention of child marriage to take place from the start of an emergency before dangerous levels are reached, and includes detailed recommendations for donors, implementing agencies, and Syrian refugee-hosting governments. 

  • Countries: Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Global
  • Published: June 2015

Related Publications

Dangerous ground: Syrian refugees face an uncertain future

This report warns that governments in Europe, the United States and the region are putting many lives at risk by closing borders and forcing Syrian refugees back to Syria, or openly discussing measures for... Read more...


Ending violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work

CARE International’s position on the new ILO Convention

This policy brief sets out CARE International’s top line positions and comments on the suggested new International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention and... Read more...


Suffering in silence: The 10 most under-reported humanitarian crises of 2017

The year 2017 was marked by scores of humanitarian crises: armed conflicts, natural disasters, climate shocks, hunger, displacement. While most of these crises made the headlines, there are others which barely made the news. And when crises are... Read more...


Targeting vulnerable households for humanitarian cash transfers

A case study on using a community-based, participatory approach to target the most vulnerable in Zimbabwe’s cash-first... Read more...


Left behind: How the world is failing women and girls on refugee family reunion

This report, based on new research from Greece and elsewhere, highlights how the failure to provide safe and legal routes for refugees, in particular for family reunion, has gendered impacts on women and girls left stranded in countries of... Read more...


Men and boys in displacement: Assistance and protection challenges for unaccompanied boys and men in refugee contexts

Refugee women and children face specific risks and their needs are, quite rightly, highlighted and addressed by the humanitarian community. However, the situation and specific needs of single male refugees is often less understood. This report... Read more...


Self-recovery from disasters: an interdisciplinary perspective

This paper presents the findings from a pilot research project in the Philippines and Nepal that investigated how disaster-affected households in low- and middle-income countries rebuild their homes in situations where little or no support is... Read more...


CARE International response to ILO Questionnaire on “Ending violence and harassment against women and men in the world of work”

CARE International’s response to the International Labour Organisation Questionnaire sets out why CARE views a possible new Convention as a great opportunity to reduce the prevalence of the gender-based violence which faces the women workers... Read more...