Sometimes in order to understand the reality of an awful global issue, people need to be able to see it happening right in front of them.
So in order to raise awareness about the global issue of arranged child marriages, 21-year-old YouTube star Coby Persin decided to push the envelope by asking a 12-year-old ‘bride’ to pose with a 65-year-old ‘groom’ in the middle of Times Square – despite the fact that child marriages aren’t actually legal in the United Status.
Coby brings the man and his young ‘wife’ into the middle of Times Square for a staged post-wedding photo shoot – sending passersby into a fit of anger. He begins with explaining to viewers how child marriage is not only legal in 91 countries around the world but even continues to be legal in the United States – with some having a cut off as low as 12 years of age.
Coby heads into Times Square with an elderly man in a suit and a young girl of just 12 in a wedding dress. As he directs them to sit and pose in areas of the square, passersby gawk in disbelief at the supposed newlyweds.
Soon enough, people start approaching the man and his unsmiling child bride, with one woman asking the little girl: ‘Where is your mom?’ As the man tries to explain to the irate woman that the girl’s parents ‘gave me permission to marry her’, she becomes even more agitated. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’ she exclaims.
The clip ends with a shocking statistic about child marriage: how 33,000 girls are married as children every day and stripped of their childhood.