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EXETER, ENGLAND, April 28, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 20% of girls becoming wives before their 15th birthday, even though 18 is the minimum age allowed by law.
It's a practice still rife in Bangladesh despite being illegal. Some call it modern day slavery. Child brides drop out of school and are rarely allowed to work. Often they become victims of domestic violence.
They lose their childhood completely. And with their bodies too young for child bearing, pregnancy results in serous health risks for both mother and child.
A TV documentary on child marriage will be featured on BBC World News GMT: Fri 27th April 13:30 and Sat 28th April 11:30 and 23:30; and on BBC News Channel BST: Sat 28th April 05:30, 14:30, 21:30 and Sun 29th April 03:30, 10:30, 22:30.
Oli - A truly inspiring young boy
12-year-old Oli is making a big difference to families living in poverty in Bangladesh - and the country's future. A sponsored child with the children's charity Plan, he is an inspirational member of one of their children's groups in northern Dhaka raising awareness of the impact of early and forced marriage on girls and their capacity to contribute to society.
Oli is one of three children affected by child marriage - Oli, Poppy and Jemi - whose experiences are featured on Angus Crawford's Crossing Continents on Radio 4 today, Thursday 26 April, at 11:00 BST and again on Monday 30 April at 20:30 BST.
You can listen online, download the podcast and browse the archive.
Plan's work in Bangladesh
Plan has been working to issue birth certificates to girls in Bangladesh. Having a birth certificate helps girls prove that they are not old enough to get married.
Plan is also working with community organisations and state authorities on raising public awareness of the problem - by holding open events, theatre shows and workshops to explain why it is important that girls wait until they are over 18 to be married.
About Plan UK
Plan is a global children's charity working with children in the world's poorest countries to help them build a better future. A future we would want for all children, our family and friends.
For over 70 years they've been taking action and standing up for every child's right to fulfil their potential.
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