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Canada's fight on forced marriages

A top United Nations official is praising the Harper government's foreign policy initiative to end forced marriage of young girls, even if Canada won't fund projects that would allow victims access to an abortion.

The Conservative government's practice of not allowing aid dollars to go towards organizations that offer abortions to victimized girls or war-rape victims has sparked heated criticism in some quarters.

But Susan Bissell, of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), says that is an obstacle that can be worked around.

She is urging Canada to be the international standard bearer for a worthy cause that needs a champion.

Bissell says she wants Canada to make a multi-million dollar contribution to the fight against the exploitation of girls.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird announced that Canada wanted to focus on the problem during a speech at the UN in September.

The Canadian Press

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