This Digest focuses on early marriage - the marriage of children and young people under the age of 18 - from a human rights perspective. Research into early marriage has tended to concentrate on its impact on reproductive health, school drop-out and rising population figures, and there has been little examination of the practice as a human rights violation in itself. The Digest examines the scale of early marriage, its context, causes and its impact on every aspect of the lives of those affected - particularly young girls - and on wider society. It outlines strategies to help those who have been married at an early age, and for the prevention of early marriage through education, advocacy and alliance-building. The Digest concludes with a call for more rights-based research on an issue that has far-reaching consequences.