By Michael Bastasch
The New York Times published an article by the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) Tuesday claiming global warming could cause more child marriages and sexual abuse in third world cities.
Brishti Rafiq’s father brought her to live in Dhaka, Bangladesh when she was a little girl after floods washed away her river-front home. It wasn’t long before her father forced her into an arranged marriage.
Bristhi opposed the marriage, and it eventually fell through after it was discovered her husband-to-be already had a wife. But TRF reported it was just one case of a big problem in Dhaka, and one that could be made worse by global warming.
Experts “fear that growing migration to already overcrowded Dhaka, as climate change pressures exacerbate poverty, could result in a new surge in child marriages,” TRF reported in NYT.
“Early marriage not only deprives girls of education and opportunities but increases their risk of death or severe childbirth injuries if they have babies before their bodies are ready,” TRF reported.
“The flood of rural families moving to Dhaka’s slums is growing as people lose their homes, farms and jobs to riverbank erosion and climate change pressures, such as worsening floods and droughts and more intense storms,” TRF added.
TFR noted that child marriages have decreased in recent years, from 29 percent of girls married by age 15 to just 18 percent. That’s despite Bangladesh banning marriage before the age of 18.