Incidence of Child Marriage More Than Doubled Between 2017-21: Govt Explains Why
In the recently concluded Monsoon Session of the Parliament, the Union government informed the Lower House that child marriages have more than doubled from 395 cases in 2017 to 1,050 cases in 2021. Karnataka has reported the most child marriages with 706 such cases while Uttar Pradesh has recorded 30 such cases in these five years.
गाँव कनेक्शन 16 Aug 2023 2:12 PM GMT
Replying to a question pertaining to child marriages in India, Union Minister Smriti Irani provided the data which showed that such cases have registered a spike of 165 per cent between 2017-2021.
On August 11, Chandrani Murmu, Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha, had asked the Union government to provide data on child marriages.
“As per information available with NCRB [National Crimes Record Bureau], the number of cases registered under 'the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, (PCMA), 2006' during the last five years i.e. 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 are 395, 501, 523, 785 and 1050 respectively,” Irani, the Union Minister of Women and Child Development informed the Lower House.
“However, higher reporting of cases does not necessarily reflect increase in the number of cases of child marriages, but it may be because of increased awareness among citizens to report such incidents due to initiatives by the Government and better enforcement of law by States/ UTs,” she wrote in her reply.
Further the minister mentioned the Central government undertakes awareness drives, media campaigns and outreach programs and issues advisories to the States/ UTs from time to time to highlight evil effects of this practice.
“The Ministry has also written to all States/ UTs to increase the number of CMPOs, as presence of Statutory Officer at local levels would result in even more effective public engagement on the subject and prevention of solemnisation of child marriage,” she added.
Additionally, the reply further mentioned that since enactment of PCMA, [The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006] the prevalence of child marriage has reduced by half from 47 per cent in 2006 to 23.3 per cent during 2019-21.
“However, a few States such as Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura and West Bengal have higher prevalence of child marriage than national average as per NFHS-5 [National Family Health Survey],” it added.