The Elders

Press release

The Elders to visit India with focus on girls’ development and the impact of child marriage

Press Conference in New Delhi, 9 February 2012

Desmond Tutu, Ela Bhatt, Gro Brundtland and Mary Robinson will visit India, home to an estimated one third of the world's child brides. They plan to meet political and business leaders, UN and NGO representatives and communities affected by child marriage, and will attend a regional meeting hosted by Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.

Read this media advisory in Hindi

A delegation of The Elders will visit India from 6-10 February 2012.

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Chair of The Elders
  • Mrs Ela Bhatt, founder of India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
  • Dr Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway
  • Mrs Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland

The primary objective of the Elders’ visit is to learn about the causes of child marriage in India, discuss the harmful impact of child marriage on human rights and development, and to encourage local efforts to end the practice. The Elders will meet political and business leaders, UN and NGO representatives, members of the media, and communities affected by child marriage.

It is estimated that 10 million girls under the age of 18 are married every year, representing approximately one third of all girls in the developing world. Because of its large population, India is home to an estimated one third of the world’s child brides.

The Elders will visit New Delhi and Patna and will also attend a regional meeting hosted by Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.


  • Tuesday 7 February, 14:00-14:30 – PRESS BRIEFING – Maurya Hotel, Patna, Bihar
  • Thursday 9 February, 15:30-16:00 – PRESS CONFERENCE – Taj Ambassador Hotel, New Delhi

Media representatives are asked to show valid ID to attend press conferences.


For updated information about The Elders’ schedule and media availability please contact:

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