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Maximum Child Marriages were stopped in Bihar in 2022-23

Utkarsh Classes 30-03-2024
Maximum Child Marriages were stopped in Bihar in 2022-23 Report 5 min read

A recent study conducted in 265 districts across 17 states/UTs has revealed that a coalition of civil society organizations prevented or stopped 9,551 child marriages in 2022-23. Among these, the majority of the girls, almost 60%, were between the ages of 15 to 18.

Key Findings

  • According to data compiled by the Child Marriage Free India Campaign, a coalition of 161 civil society bodies, a total of 59,364 child marriages were prevented in India. 
  • Of these, 26% of the girls whose marriages were stopped were between the ages of 10 and 14, while only 0.6% involved girls aged 9 or younger. 
  • The top four states where child marriages were prevented were Bihar (31%), Bengal (11%), Uttar Pradesh (11%), and Jharkhand (10%). 
  • It is worth noting that Bengal had the highest number of FIRs (First Information Reports) registered for child marriage cases.
  •  Awareness programmes, while 9,551 cases of child marriage were intervened legally.A research paper titled 'Educate To End Child Marriage' has revealed that 49,813 child marriages were stopped through counselling of parents and
  • Legal interventions included the registration of FIR, injunction orders by courts, orders by child welfare committees and undertakings in the presence of government officials. 
  • Among the top five states where FIRs were registered, West Bengal (32%) and Bihar (7%) featured alongside Assam (27%), Odisha (8%) and Maharashtra (6%).
  • The research paper further highlights that states with higher female literacy rates tend to have lower child marriage prevalence rates. 
  • According to the National Family Health-5 (2019-21), Kerala has a high female literacy rate of 96% and a low child marriage prevalence of 6% in the southern zone. 
  • In contrast, Bihar in the eastern zone has a low female literacy rate of 61% and a high child marriage prevalence of 41%, while Rajasthan in the northern zone has a lower female literacy rate of 64% and a relatively high child marriage prevalence of 25%.
  • The research paper has been prepared by coalition calls, advocating for the expansion of the ambit of the Right to Education Act 2009 to provide free and compulsory education from classes 9 to 12.

Child Marriage

Child marriage is a formal or informal union where one or both parties are under 18 years of age.

Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006

  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 defines a child as a male person under twenty-one years of age or a female person under eighteen years of age. 
  • Any marriage between children below the legal age limit is considered null and void. The act also provides punishments for allowing or conducting child marriages between minors or marrying minors with adults.

India’s Child Marriage Law History

  • The Sarda Act, introduced in 1929, was the first law aimed at preventing child marriages. It prohibited girls under the age of 15 and boys under the age of 18 from getting married. In 1978, the law was amended to increase the minimum age of marriage by three years. This means that girls under 18 and boys under 21 are not allowed to get married. 
  • In 2006, the old law was replaced by the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006. This new law has stricter measures against those who participate in child marriages.
  • It also introduced a group of officers called the Child Marriage Prohibition Officers, whose job it was to prevent child marriages from happening.

FAQ

Answer: Bihar

Answer: The first law aimed at preventing child marriages

Answer: 1929
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