Dear [President/Minister of Justice/Speaker of the House]:
I am writing to express my deep concern about the prevalence of child marriage in Yemen and the extremely negative impact of such marriage on girls. Child marriages violate the human rights of girls by excluding them from decisions regarding the timing of marriage and the choice of spouse. International organizations such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNFPA have underscored the negative physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual and sexual implications of child marriage on girls, including death due to early pregnancy and deprivation of education. Girls at risk of early marriage and the harm it causes need the protection and support of the Yemeni government so that they may enjoy their childhood.
I am aware that a draft bill which proposes a minimum age of marriage will be considered by parliament. I urge you to ensure the swift passage of this bill and institute measures for its effective enforcement, including by requiring that all marriages are registered, and prosecuting and punishing all those who are in violation. I note that many other countries, including those with legal systems similar to that of Yemen, such as Algeria, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Malaysia, Morocco and Turkey, have instituted 18 years as a minimum age of marriage and other countries are in the process of doing so.
I thank you for your attention.