The practice of child marriage has been decreasing for years worldwide, but more actions are still needed to put an end to child marriage by the year 2030, said a UNICEF report today.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund, several countries have reported significant reductions in this respect and overall was able to avoid some 25 million child marriages.
In general, the proportion of women who had to marry before the age of 18 was reduced by 15 percent during the last decade, the statistics point out.
The largest decrease occurred in South Asia - the report adds - while more progress is needed in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to new Unicef data, the total number of married girls is now estimated at 12 million per year.
Among the Sustainable Development Goals is the elimination of child marriage by the year 2030, in that sense Unicef warns that further action is needed in order to achieve that goal.
The main advisor on gender and development at the UN agency, Anju Malhotra, also warned about the consequences of child marriage: lower chances of finishing school, high risks of sexual abuse and severe complications for sexual and reproductive health.
Unicef's report highlights how the increase in girls 'and adolescents' education rates and public campaigns about the illegality of child marriage have helped to reduce the practice.