British High Commission to Solomon Islands Dominic Meiklejohn has made call for pledges in support for girls affected by child, early and forced marriage including female genital mutilation (FGM).
He urges Commonwealth member countries including Solomon Islands to show solidarity towards this cause and end these harmful practices.
The call came as Solomon Islands joins in marking the first ever Girl Summit with United Kingdom on Tuesday 22nd of July 2014.
Meiklejohn said the problem is not indigenous to his own country.
“It has impacted my country a lot and is an issue I firmly believe has affected numerous countries in the world,” he said.
He explained in the United Kingdom, hundreds of girls risk being forced into marriage, violating their human rights.
Likewise forced marriage victims can suffer physical, psychological, emotional, financial and sexual abuse including female genital mutilation (FGM), removing a girl’s right to have control over her own body.
“Traditionally considered essential for marriage and inclusion in the community, it is an extreme and violent way in which girls are controlled and disempowered.
“Trends suggest at least 30 million girls will be at risk over the next decade – with more than 20,000 at risk in the UK every year,” he said.
High Commissioner Meiklejohn said the Girl Summit is an avenue to rally a global movement to end child, early and forced marriage and FGM for all girls within a generation.
“Doing this will help preserve girls’ childhoods, promote their education, reduce their exposure to violence and abuse, and allow them to fulfil their potential in life.
“Everyone has a part to play in achieving rights for girls and women around the world.”
This may require greater representation of girls and women in the leadership level in all works of lives, added Meiklejohn.
The event was attended by Honourable James Tora, Save the Children CEO, members of the Young Women in Parliament including women and non-government organizations representatives.