“Child Marriage in America” Available now across CBS News’ Digital Properties
Nov. 2, 2019 - Generally in America, the concept of child marriage sounds foreign – an outrage that happens elsewhere. However, according to state and county health department records across the U.S., between 2000 and 2015, more than 200,000 children under age 18 were married in America. Though laws vary state to state, child marriage is legal in the United States and is at the center of a contentious debate over the best ways to keep minors safe.
The newest CBSN Originals documentary examines both sides of the complex nature of child marriage in America through the lens of women subjected to forced marriage and a young woman who chose to marry as a minor. The documentary also features activists on both sides of the debate like Rachel Yates of Girls Not Brides, who notes “the United States government has...policies on child marriage articulating that it’s a human rights abuse in and of itself, but also that it’s a human rights abuse that can perpetuate other human rights abuses such as, the right to live free from violence, the right to education.” An opponent of banning marriage for minors, Diana Philip of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland counters stating that important rights are at stake for minors, “having the right to marry allows us to access health insurance...we can be married and have access to married student housing in colleges. We have the right to access military benefits...we felt that it made sense that the age to consent to sex being the age of 16, that 16 and 17-year-olds would have this right to marry.”
“Child Marriage in America” is the second episode in a new six-part CBSN Originals series titled “Speaking Frankly,” which will bring viewers into conversations on topics that are often seen as impolite or too controversial to fully discuss. The first installment of “Speaking Frankly” tackles the ways we relate to one another in the modern world though first person interviews on topics from non-monogamous relationships to personal experiences with child marriage in America, to how pornography is warping perspectives on sex and relationships, to the unprecedented challenges of raising children in a rapidly changing world.
The documentary is available nowacross all CBS News digital properties including CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 streaming network. The documentary will also stream on CBSN on Sunday, November 3 at 8 p.m. ET.
CBSN launched its documentary series, CBSN Originals, in January 2016, adding a new dimension to the network with immersive reports that take a deep dive into some of the key issues driving national and global conversations. To date, CBSN has streamed 46 Originals on a range of topics including the mass migration from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, social media’s role in the violence against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, gender identity, and the dangerous journey to America through the Darien Gap, among others.