A/HRC/RES/35/16 Welcoming also the adoption of General Assembly resolution 71/1 of 19 September 2016 on the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, Noting the work of the World Health Organization High-level Working Group on the Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents, Welcoming the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the expert workshop on the impact of existing strategies and initiatives to address child, early and forced marriage, 2 and taking note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on child, early and forced marriage,3 Noting with appreciation the ongoing United Nations Population Fund-United Nations Children’s Fund Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, as well as regional, national and subnational instruments, mechanisms and initiatives to end child, early and forced marriage, including the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage and the Regional Action Plan to End Child Marriage in South Asia, and ongoing United Nations activities and programmes on child, early and forced marriage, and further encouraging coordinated approaches to action at all levels, Recognizing that child, early and forced marriage is a harmful practice that violates, abuses and impairs human rights and is linked to and perpetuates other harmful practices, including female genital mutilation, and human rights violations, and that such violations have a disproportionately negative impact on women and girls, and underscoring the human rights obligations and commitments of States to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls and to prevent and eliminate child, early and forced marriage, Deeply concerned by the impact of deep-rooted gender inequalities, norms and stereotypes and of harmful practices, perceptions and customs that are among the primary causes of child, early and forced marriage, and deeply concerned also that poverty and lack of education are also among the drivers of this harmful practice, and that it remains common in rural areas and among the poorest communities, Recognizing that child, early and forced marriage undermines women’s and girls’ autonomy and decision-making in all aspects of their lives, and remains an impediment not only to the economic, legal, health and social status of women and girls but also to the development of society as a whole, and that the empowerment of and investment in women and girls, the meaningful participation of girls in all decisions that affect them, and women’s full, equal and effective participation at all levels of decision-making are a key factor in breaking the cycle of gender inequality and discrimination, violence and poverty, and are critical for, inter alia, sustainable development, peace, security, democracy and inclusive economic growth, Noting with concern that child, early and forced marriage disproportionally affects girls who have received little or no formal education, and is itself a significant obstacle to educational opportunities for girls and young women, in particular girls who are forced to drop out of school owing to marriage, pregnancy, childbirth and/or childcare responsibilities, and recognizing that educational opportunities are directly related to the empowerment of women and girls, their employment and economic opportunities and their active participation in economic, social and cultural development, governance and decisionmaking, 2 3 2 A/HRC/35/5. A/71/253.

Select target paragraph3