Child Marriage is a global problem even in the 21st century - See facts! - Seeker's Thoughts

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Child Marriage is a global problem even in the 21st century - See facts!

Child marriage is a truly global problem that runs across countries, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. Child brides can be found in every region in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe.

Across the globe, millions of boys and girls are betrothed so young they spend the majority of their adolescence already married. They suffer sky-high maternal mortality rates, illiteracy, and a daily struggle against violence and poverty.


They are younger and they're married, the more risk they face and more unlikely it is they'll succeed later in life.

Not just girls, boys too, are negatively affected but premature nuptials. They are often forced to drop out school and take menial jobs to support their new family.

This perpetuates the cycle of poverty that led to their marriage in the first place. Generations after generation will struggle to lift themselves out of this tradition.

Child marriage is a truly global problem that runs across countries, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. Child brides can be found in every region in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe.

Child marriage can lead a lifetime of suffering. Girls who marry before they turn 18 are less likely to remain in school and more likely to experience domestic violence.

Young teenage girls are more likely to die due its complications in early pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s, and their children are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first month of life.





Boy's child marriage
According to the UNICEF about 115 million boys and men around the world were married as children. In an analysis of child grooms UNICEF found one in five children, or 23 million, were married before the age of 15.

According to the data from 82 countries, the study revealed that child marriage among boys is prevalent across a range country around the world, spanning, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific.

28% of the males in Central African Republic were married as children, ranking it the first country having the male child marriages.
At 19%, Nicaragua was the second and Madagascar the third, at 13%.
Whereas girls remain disproportionately affected, with 1-in-5 young women between the ages of 20 and 24, married before their 18th birthday, compared to 1-in-30 young   men.

Poor boys face extreme pressure to provide for a family, early marriages bring early fatherhood, cutting short education and job opportunities. While the prevalence, causes and impact of child marriage among girls have been extensive. It is clear though that the children are more at risk who come from the poorest households, live predominantly in rural areas.

There is little empirical data how an early marriage affects the young men. A variety of experts from leading international organizations working to combat child marriage expressed a gap in knowledge about the issue of underage grooms.

India's children Vulnerability
According to the UNICEF, India has the highest absolute number of child brides in the world - 15,509,000.
About 27% of girls in India are married before their 18th birthday and 7% are married before the age of 15.
Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys.

It is more common among poorer and uneducated households, many families marrying off their daughters to reduce their perceived economic burden, and some families believe that young age marriages make girls and boys more responsible and they will learn to handle their family at a very young age.

At some places in India girls and boys gets engaged before even they born in order to secure their future.
Many families consider girls to be ‘Paraya dhan’ that means someone else's wealth.

Customary laws based on religion are a major barrier in ending child marriage in India. Social pressure to marry at puberty can be enormous within certain castes.
There is generally due to lower value attached to daughters, and girls. As girls are expected to be adaptable, docile hardworking and talented wives.

Child marriages are sometimes used as a tool to control female sexuality, sanctify sex and ensure reproduction.

India commitments to curb child marriage

India acceded to the convention on the rights of the child in 1992, which sets minimum age of marriage is 18, and ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in 1993, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
India has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the sustainable development goal.

However, the government did not provide an update on progress towards this target during its voluntary National review at the 2017 high-level political forum.

India is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, a multi-stakeholder program working across 12 countries over four years.
India is also a member of the South Asian Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC), which adopted a regional action plan to end child marriage from 2015 – 2018.
Representatives of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including India, asserted the Kathmandu Call to Action to End Child Marriage in Asia in 2014. As part of its commitment, India will ensure access to legal remedies for child brides and establish a uniform minimum legal age of marriage of 18.

During its 2017 Universal Periodic Review, India agreed to consider recommendations to improve enforcement of legal provisions against child marriage.
In 2014 the CEDAW Committee raised concerns about high school dropout rates among young girls in India, making them particularly vulnerable to child marriage.

The recognition of the child rights (UN)
Against the backdrop of a changing world order world leaders came together in 1989 and made a historic commitment to the world's children. They made a promise to every child to protect and fulfil their rights, by adopting an international legal framework - called United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.



What was the idea of the UN's convention treaty?
Children are not just objects who belong to their parents and for whom decision are made, or adults in training. Rather, they are human beings and individuals with their own rights and ideologies.

The convention says childhood is separate from the adulthood, and lasts until 18; it is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity.

The convention went on to become the most widely ratified human right treaty in history and has helped transform children's lives.

The Most Widely Ratified Treat- The Convention of Child Rights
The Convention is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. It has inspired governments to change laws and policies and make investments so that more children finally get the health care and nutrition they need to survive and develop, and there are stronger safeguards in place to protect children from violence and exploitation. It has also enabled more children to have their voices heard and participate in their societies. 

Challenges in implementing child rights
Even after so much efforts the convention is still not fully implemented or widely known and understood.

Millions of children continue to suffer violations of their rights. Child marriages around the world are active. Especially in developing nations children are the victims of such unethical practices.
Childhoods continue to be cut short when children are forced to leave school, do hazardous work, or get married.


A way forward
In recent years child marriage has gained increasing prominence on international and national development agendas. Today, we have a unique opportunity to act in this momentum and accelerate our efforts to help and change the lives of girls, boys and young women all over the world.

Ending child marriage require work across all sectors and at all levels. It requires us to understand the complex drivers behind the practice in different contexts and adapt our interventions accordingly.

Ending child marriage also requires increased, targeted investments from both international donors and governments in high prevalence countries. The funding that is currently available is nowhere near large enough to match the scale of child marriage worldwide.

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