Child marriage Facebook auction "reminiscent of slave markets," says Plan International

An auction has been held on Facebook to facilitate the child marriage of a 16-year-old girl in South Sudan.

The girl’s father reportedly received 500 cows, three cars and $10,000 in exchange for his daughter, who was married off to the winning bidder at a ceremony on 3 November in the country’s Eastern Lakes State.

Five men participated in the auction, some of whom are reportedly high-ranking government officials.

Commenting on the news, George Otim, Country Director of Plan International South Sudan, said:

“This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets. That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief.

“Plan International is calling on the South Sudanese government to investigate this matter and suspend any officials who took part in the bidding. We would encourage any girls who find themselves in similar situations of forced and early marriages to report these to the police."

Media contacts:

Alys Francis Media Officer, Plan International Australia
Tel: 0476 287 787
Email: alys.francis@plan.org.au

Lily Partland Media Manager, Plan International Australia
Tel: 0418 118 687
Email: lily.partland@plan.org.au

About Plan International

Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected. Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.