While we, in India, know that child marriage is an evil that continues to rear its ugly, patriarchal head in our nation even now, did you know that young, underage girls being forced into marriage is a global issue? It exists not only in the developing nations of Asia, Africa and South America, but also in the developed nation of the United States of Americawhere non-profits like Girls UP, Unchained At Last, National Coalition to End Child Marriage, and the International Centre for Research on Women are all fighting against the peculiar ways in which child marriage has continued to exist in the US.Of course, as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) point out, the most vulnerable nations across the world when it comes to child marriage are Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. These nations, as you can clearly tell, are African and Asian, and have a long traditional history of child marriageswhich is the reason why the evil continues to exist here despite many drives towards increasing awareness, and even policies to curb the problem. In case you want to know more about child marriage in India, read our explainer here.But because child marriage is such a rampant problem in Asia and Africa, many women and survivors have taken it upon themselves to fight the social problem by starting their own non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and support groups. If you want to know more about these women, read our story on activists fighting child marriage.How The UN Fights Child MarriageIn 2016, the UNFPA joined hands with UNICEF to launch a global programme to tackle child marriage in the 12 vulnerable nations mentioned above. The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage is further supported by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, and the eprogramme itself conducts cutting-edge social research into the causes of this issue and how to go about resolving it. To achieve this, the UNFPA and UNICEF also support and collaborate with activists and NGOs working at the very grassroots level in these nations, including in India.If a March 2021 report by UNICEF is to be believed, accelerating the support and growth to the UNFPA-UNICEF programme and other NGOs across the globe is critical now in the post-COVID era. The report, titled COVID-19: A threat to progress against child marriage, explains that due to the pandemic, school closures, economic stress, service disruptions, pregnancy, and parental deaths have left 10 million additional girls vulnerable to the risk of child marriagebringing the count to 100 million girls at risk of child marriage in the coming decade. Supporting the UNFPA-UNICEF programme, and its collaborators across the world, should therefore be a priority for all.NGOs Fighting Child Marriage GloballyGirls Not Brides: A global partnership of over 300 NGOs from 50 nations, Girls Not Brides is perhaps the biggest collective working against child marriage globally. Members of the organisation are spread across Africa, South Asia, Middle East, Europe and North America. Each member organisation works with girls and child brides in various communities, and conducts on-the-ground research on the issue. The research and dataare then shared across the world, where each member within this global partnership benefits from the information shared.Breakthrough: Working predominantly in the US and India, this organisation addresses issues like violence against women, HIV/AIDS, immigrant rights and racial justice, apart from constantly supporting the fight against child marriage. In India, Breakthrough works in Bihar and Jharkhand, where it uses the power of media to inspire entire communities to shun the practice of child marriage.CARE: The Coorperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) works true to its name and helps address poverty, hunger and womens rights across the globe. The humanitarian organisation has a mandate against child marriage, which it fights by providing, mainly, education to girls across the world. It further works with families, communities and local organisations to mitigate the evil practice.FAWE: The Forum for African Women Educationalists is an NGO that works across 32 African nations with the sole purpose of empowering girls and women through gender-responsive education. Stopping child marriage is a key part of their mandate, and they work with communities, schools and even ministries across the continent to promote awareness about the social evil. Their Girls Advocacy Alliance plays a key role in stopping child marriage.Forward: Based out of the United Kingdom, Forward is an African diaspora network that leads a major women-led campaign to advance and safeguard the reproductive health rights of Africas women and girls. Apart from child marriage, female genital mutilation and gender-based violence are the issues that Forward tackles through education, advocacy and support programmes.Humanium: This international child sponsorship NGO is dedicatedly working to stop all sorts of violations of childrens rights, including early and forced marriage. Founded in Geneva in 2008, Humanium raises awareness about child rights, provides legal assistance to victims of violations, supports local partners spread across the world, and advocates internationally for the fulfilment of child rights especially in tandem with environmental rightsthe last makes this organisations work even more futuristic and impactful.Indian NGOs Working To Stop Child MarriageSaarthi Trust: Founded by Kriti Bharti in 2011, the Saathi Trust works for the rights of women and childrenspecifically rescuing victims of child marriage and helping them with annulments and rehabilitation. In fact, the Saarthi Trust was the first organisation in India to get a child marriage annulled. Currently, the organisation has annulled 30 marriages, prevented 900, and rehabilitated 6,000 children and 5,500 women.Save The Children: Working across 16 states in the country, Save the Children was founded in 2004when it was first registered as Bal Raksha Bharat. The organisation works to protect children, and not only against child marriage but other forms of risks like abuse, trafficking and labour exploitation. Currently, they have helped rehabilitate more than 12.4 million children in India.Aangan Trust: Founded by Suparna Gupta in 2002, the Aangan Trust works against child marriage, trafficking, hazardous and illegal work, and violence. Apart from working to rescue and rehabilitate children by building links with communities at the grassroots level, the organisation also works with government agencies, the police and child welfare departments to create policies and care programmes.Vasavya Mahila Mandali: Based out of Andhra Pradesh, the Vasavya Mahila Mandali works to prevent all forms of abuse and violence against children, including child marriage. Even though the organisation is working in communities and villages in Andhra, their work is impacting women and childrens lives across India.CRY: While Child Rights and You (CRY) works towards protecting children from all sorts of abuse, a major part of their work is dedicated to stopping child marriage. The organisation works to address the issue by conducting counselling sessions with adolescent girls and their communities, building awareness among Panchayat leaders, and tracking potential cases of child marriage to prevent them. They also rehabilitate those they rescue with MNAREGA job opportunities and education.