From birth, Kadiga Mohammed was set to marry her first and eldest cousin, a traditional practice known as 'absuma' in her community in the Afar Region of Ethiopia. When she turned 16, her parents began to prepare for the wedding. But Kadiga was filled with dread -- she did not want to marry the man they had selected for her.
Every year, approximately 51 million children under the age of five are not registered at birth, a disproportionate number of whom are girls. The Girls Count Act is a statement that the United States will proactively support every child's right to receive legal and social benefits through registration at birth.
If one thing was made clear by the scale of the recent anti-child slavery demonstration of 200,000 young people in the Burmese capital Rangoon, it is that regimes can repress for a time but they cannot maintain their repression indefinitely. The marches show that while children may disappear one by one into slavery, sold off by relatives or neighbours, becoming in effect invisible people - the victims' cries for help cannot be silenced forever, and eventually the truth will out.