Article by  Sarah Bosakowski

Guess who came to dinner Wednesday night …

Chelsea Clinton joined Unchained At Last, the law firm White & Case and a small group of guests for an intimate dinner and discussion of child marriage in the United States.

Chelsea and Fraidy Reiss, Unchained’s founder/executive director, talked about the growing national movement Unchained leads — in partnership with White & Case — to end this human-rights abuse that destroys girls’ lives.

Clinton applauded Unchained’s leadership and Reiss’ “ferocity of purpose” in pushing for change. Clinton urged guests to help pass legislation that ends all child marriage, without exceptions.

“The fact that child marriage is still legal in this country, I think should say to all of us we still have serious work to do here at home,” Clinton said, adding that child marriage in the U.S. “really undermines our credibility as an advocate on the world stage for the rights of girls and women.”

Our Movement to End Child Marriage in America

Marriage before 18 is legal in all 50 U.S. states. Laws in 22 states do not specify any minimum marriage age.

Child marriage often is forced marriage, because children face overwhelming legal and practical barriers if they try to leave home, enter a domestic violence shelter, retain an attorney or bring a legal action such as divorce before they turn 18. Further, child marriage destroys girls’ health, education and economic opportunities and significantly increases their risk of being beaten by their spouse. In fact, the U.S. State Department has called marriage before 18 a “human rights abuse.”

We at Unchained lead a growing national movement to end child marriage in America by passing simple, commonsense legislation in all 50 states and at the federal level. White & Case makes our work possible through extensive pro bono legal research, bill drafting and and other support.

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To learn more about Unchained at Last and how to end child marriage in the U.S., click here