NEW YORK (September 7, 2022) – UNICEF USA welcomes the news that Massachusetts is the seventh state in the U.S. to officially ban child marriage with no exceptions after Governor Charlie Baker signed the Massachusetts FY23 Budget, which included an amendment to ban child marriage. The new legislation signed today eliminates exceptions in Massachusetts law that allowed children as young as 14 years old to marry.

Child marriage has negative impacts on children, including separation from family and friends, child pregnancy and loss of learning. 

Massachusetts joins six other states that passed legislation to end child marriage: New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Responding to this news, Michael J. Nyenhuis, UNICEF USA President and CEO, said:

“We are grateful to state Rep. Kay Khan and state Sen. Harriette Chandler for championing the bill since it was initially introduced back in 2017. This legislative accomplishment was fueled in part by our passionate UNICEF volunteers who mobilized to urge their state legislators to pass the bill. UNICEF USA supporters exemplify the power of our community’s voices, including youth voices, in catalyzing positive change for children and communities at large.”

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit

For more information please contact:

Jenna Buraczenski, UNICEF USA, (917) 720-1432, [email protected]