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Sex Tourism Capital of the Caribbean, The Dominican Republic, Also Leads The Region In The Number of Child Brides

PAID TO PLAY: Local girls enjoy a youth group meeting about sexual reproductive health in their community, Batey Yaco, on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

SANTO DOMINGO — UNICEF says more than one in 10 girls in the Dominican Republic are married or living with a partner before their 15th birthday, a figure that gives the country the highest rate of child marriage in the Americas.

Rosa Elcarte, UNICEF representative in the country, says that 11.7 per cent of women currently between 18 and 22 years old reported that they had married or lived with a man before they turned 15, the minimum age of sexual consent and marriage.

“This is incredibly tragic,” Elcarte says. She says the rate of child marriage in the Dominican Republic is similar to that in some sub-Saharan African nations.

A third of women in the Dominican Republic marry before the age of 18, according to a World Bank study.

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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