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Draft of National Plan of Action on prevention of Child Marriage released
Nov 21, 2013

Child Marriage denies a child the basic right to good health, nutrition and education. It is widely acknowledged that early marriage makes girls more vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation. For both girls and boys, marriage has a strong physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional impact, cutting off educational opportunities and chances of personal growth. 

It is believed that the main reasons for early marriage are cultural factors, social practices and economic pressures interacting with poverty and inequality. 

Recent measures to curb child marriage:

The Union Government has endeavoured to curb the practice in recent years through repealing Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 and bringing in a more progressive Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 that includes punitive measures against those who perform, permit and promote child marriage. Under this Act, child marriage is defined as the marriage of males below the age of 21 years, and females below 18 years. It also provides for annulment of a child marriage and gives a separated female the right to maintenance and residence from her husband if he is above 18 or in-laws if he is a minor until she is remarried. This Act came into effect in November 2007. 

The draft of National Plan of Action on prevention of Child Marriage illustrates following objectives:

  • Enforce PCMA 2006 and related laws and policies strictly to protect children and adolescents against child marriage and promote gender equality. 

  • To promote the right to education and to promote quality in education at all levels with a special emphasis on girls to make them empowered. 

  • To generate a change in social norms and attitudes regarding child marriage and the role and status of girls in society by organizing seminars, workshops, etc. 

  • To generate knowledge and data to inform programmes and policies. 

  • To develop and establish monitoring and evaluation systems to measure outcomes. 

  • To enhance convergence across line Ministries, departments and other stakeholders.  


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