'Barbaric Use Of Technology': Child Bride Auctioned For Marriage On Facebook

Facebook has come under fire after it was revealed a child bride was sold on the social platform. 

The auction was held on the social network seeking payment for the marriage of a 16-year-old girl.

According to children's rights organisation Plan International, the girl was bid on by five men, some of whom where South Sudanese government officials. The girl's father received 500 cows, three cars and $USD10,000 as payment for his daughter.

Plan International has called this a "barbaric use of technology" and they have called on the South Sudanese government to investigate the incident.

"This barbaric use of technology is reminiscent of latter-day slave markets. That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world's biggest social networking site in this day and age is beyond belief," George Otim, Country Director of Plan International South Sudan said.

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“While it is common for dowries to be used in marriages in South Sudanese culture, nothing can excuse the way this girl -- who is still a child -- has been treated as nothing more than an object, sold off to the bidder prepared to offer the most money and goods," he said.

It wasn't until 15 days after it was originally posted that Facebook was made aware of it and removed it.

According to CNN the bidding on the girl started on October 25 and the post was removed by November 9. The marriage of the girl took place on November 3.

The girl was married in early November. Image: Getty Images.

Child marriage is considered a violation of human rights and in the Republic of South Sudan transition constitution, a child is defined as anyone under the age of 18. Plan International is calling on the South Sudanese government to enforce their laws.

“Child marriage is a serious violation of human rights and a form of violence against girls. It can have profound consequences on a child’s survival, health, education, development and well-being and is often carried out against their will and best interests," Otim said.

Featured Image: Getty Images. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au