A man holds a girl as she tries to escape when she realised she is to to be married, about 80 km (50 miles) from the town of Marigat in Baringo County December 7, 2014. Reuters/Siegfried Modola

It is not just in India, China or some Asian, Middle Eastern or African countries where there are still child-brides. Even in a modern western city like Sydney, there are child-bribes as young as nine years old.

However, the child-brides are not Caucasians but children of immigrants whose parents still cling on some wrong traditions involving their offspring. A Sydney child protection helpline says that in the past two years, there were at least 73 cases reported.

The average age is between 14 and 16, according to Australia’s Family and Community Services helpline. The destination of most of the child-brides are in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Pakistan, reports Daily Mail.

Eman Sharobeem, a campaigner against the practice, says most of these child-brides are sent overseas and married to older men. One reason why the child-brides are sent abroad is because Australia has no place for forced marriages, underage or non-consensual sex, writes Daily Telegraph in an editorial.

The Australian reports that most of the tip-offs which the helpline receives are from teachers, counsellors and school principals. Brad Hazzard, Family and Community Services Minister of New South Wales believes the practice – which he describes as cruel and barbaric – says the federal government must lead the battle against the practice.

He calls on religious leaders to be involved in educating communities about the problem. “There is no doubt that there is a tsunami of young girls - some as young as nine - who have been taken overseas and forced to become child brides, and quite simply the Baird government is saying to those communities this is Australia you are living in and you must acknowledge our laws and protect our children," SBS quotes Hazzard.

VIDEO: National Geographic Live! – Too Young to Wed

Source: National Geographic