India Emerges World’s Child Marriage Capital
Four UN agencies urged India to take “incremental action” to fight the scourge of child marriages in the country on Thursday when the first International Day of the Girl Child was observed across the world. The focus of the first observance of the day is on child marriage.
In a letter to Union minister of Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, heads of four UN agencies in India — UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Women and UN Information Centre — wrote, “Child marriage is not a solution to protecting girls from sexual crimes including rape.”
This comes a day after former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala endorsed Haryana khap panchayat’s suggestion to bring down marriageable age of teenagers to 16 to check sexual atrocities like rape.
In the letter, the UN agencies said, “More than 40% of the world’s child marriages happen in India. In eight states of the country, more than half of young girls are married before the age of 18.”