ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article has been written by Aakash Tyagi Law student at Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies,GGSIPU
Child marriage is an impediment to human rights and is required to be addressed worldwide by citizens, community organizations, local, and federal agencies, also by international organizations and civil society groups. Child marriage cuts across borders, religions, cultures, and ethnicities are to be found everywhere around the planet. Although sometimes boys are subjected to early marriage, girls are much more likely to be married at a young age.
This is where we stand in today’s scenario: in developing countries, 1 out of every 3 girls is married before the age of 18. And 1 out of every nine girls is married before they turn 15. Try watching it this way: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that if current trends continue, worldwide, 142 million girls are going to be married by 2020. Another prediction from a global partnership called Girls Not Brides suggests, that if there's no reduction in child marriages, the worldwide number of kid brides will reach 1.2 billion by 2050. the rationale why this is often such a critical issue is because child marriage undermines global effort to scale back poverty and boost shared prosperity, because it traps vulnerable individuals during a cycle of poverty.
Child marriage deprives girls of educational opportunities. Often times, when girls are married at a young age, they're more likely to drop out of schools and are not able to continue their education and are at a greater risk of death owing to early childbirth. In accordance with the data provided by planet Health Organization, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the second most cause of death for 15 to 19-year-old girls globally. In India the Prohibition of child marriage act, 2006 came into force on Nov. 1, 2007 for the purpose of abolishing and putting a restraint on the practice of child marriage throughout India. The cases of kid marriage have increased on the pandemic in Uttar Pradesh, the Uttar Pradesh State Women’s Commission has written to the govt. seeking a typical procedure (SOP) for prevention of the practice. In India, Odisha has an SOP along these lines but most states don’t, as stated by TOI. In a piece of writing within the Indian Express, amid the COVID-19 induced lockdown, Karnataka saw a pointy rise in child marriages. consistent with the Karnataka State Commission for cover of kid Rights (KSCPCR), within the last four months (April-July), the state has reported 107 child marriage cases, while it recorded a complete of 156 cases last year.
Many factors interact to put a minor or a teenager in danger of marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family honor, social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice, an inadequate legislative framework and therefore the state of a country’s civil registration system. Child marriage often hinders a girl’s development by leading to teenage pregnancy and social isolation, affecting her schooling and curbing her opportunities for career and advancement. Although the impact on child grooms has not been extensively studied, marriage may similarly place boys in an adult role that they're unprepared for, and should place economic pressures on them and curtail their opportunities for further education or career advancement. When a few cohabitates, the idea is usually that they're adults, albeit one or both has not yet reached the age of 18. Additional concerns owing to the informality of the connection – in terms of inheritance, citizenship and social recognition, for instance – may make children in informal unions vulnerable in several ways than those that are formally married. Though, Child marriage is on the verge of declining, but girls from poor strata of society slip through the cracks. Technically, child marriage is against the law in India. A law passed in 1929, the govt passed a law banning the practice, and it had been updated again in 2006. Today, both women under 18 and men under 21 cannot legally marry. Parents or older spouses are often punished with up to 2 years in prison for coordinating or allowing arrangements that ignore these restrictions. Despite that there has been a plunge in the rate of child marriages over the past decade, there are more underage brides in India than the other country within the world. Quite 1 / 4 of Indian girls are married by the age of 18, according to the data provided by the organization Girls Not Brides.
The issue of Child marriage has been addressed in a number of international conventions and agreements. The Convention on the Elimination of all sorts of Discrimination against Women, for instance , covers the proper to protection from child marriage in article 16, which states: “The betrothal and therefore the marriage of a toddler shall haven't any legal effect, and every one necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage….” the proper to ‘free and full’ consent to marriage is recognized within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which says that consent can't be ‘free and full’ when one among the parties involved isn't sufficiently mature to form an informed decision a few life partner. Although marriage isn't mentioned directly within the Convention on the Rights of the kid, child marriage is linked to other rights – like the proper to freedom of expression, the proper to protection from all sorts of abuse, and therefore the right to be shielded from harmful traditional practices – and is usually addressed by the Committee on the Rights of the kid. Other international agreements associated with child marriage are the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and also includes the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of girls in Africa.
New UN initiative aims to guard millions and millions of girls around the globe from child marriage. The United Nations announced a latest initiative to advance efforts to end the practice of child marriage by 2030 and protect and preserve the rights of millions of vulnerable girls round the globe. The initiative by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and also by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), announced on International Women’s Day, is a component of a worldwide effort to stop girls from marrying too young and to support those already married as girls in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East countries, where child marriage rates are quite high. Child marriage has been a violation of the rights of women and girls for quite a long period now and still continues to persist. Girls who are married as children are denied education, suffer violence and abuse, contract HIV/AIDS and die due to complications that occur during pregnancy and childbirth. Child marriage also hurts economies and leads to intergenerational cycles of poverty. On Oct. 2017, SC of India gave a landmark judgement which criminalized sex with a child bride, removing the legal protection to the men who raped their minor wives. That’s why every big organizations throughout the world are now making a move to tackle this problem realizing its vast negative impact on the children, both male and female round the globe.
· https://oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/the-global-state-of-child-marriage-girlsnotbrides/ (last visited on Sep. 25, 2020).
· https://indianexpress.com/article/india/sharp-rise-in-child-marriages-in-karnataka-during-covid-19-%0d%0alockdown-6573188/ (last visited on Sep. 25, 2020).
https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-protection/child-marriage/ (last visited on Sep. 25, 2020).
· https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/2016/03/new-un-initiative-aims-to-protect-millions-of-girls-from-child-marriage/ (last visited on Sep. 25, 2020).
·Deepak Lavania, “Child marriage rising in pandemic, UP women’s panel asks govt for SOP to counter practice” Times of India, Sep. 6, 2020.
Darshan Devaiah BP, “Sharp rise in child marriages in Karnataka during COVID-19 lockdown” The Indian Express, Apr. 29, 2020.