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Increased Child Marriages In Lockdown

Increased Child Marriages In Lockdown:

Some activists and organizations of Karnataka have raised the issue of increased child marriages in Lockdown with the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

  • According to a report published in December 2020 by ChildLine India, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown have proved to be new drivers of child marriages in rural Madhya Pradesh.

Child Marriage:

  • It is defined as a marriage of a girl or boy before the age of 18 and refers to both formal marriages and informal unions in which children under the age of 18 live with a partner as if married.
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates suggest that each year, at least 1.5 million girls under 18 get married in India, which makes it home to the largest number of child brides in the world – accounting for a third of the global total.
  • A recent study by The Lancet shows that up to 2.5 million more girls (below the age of 18) around the world are at risk of marriage in the next 5 years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reason for Increased Child Marriages during Lockdowns:

  • Lack of Alert Mechanism:
  • Pandemic Induced Pressures: Economic pressures due to the pandemic have pushed poor parents to marry off girls early.
  • With no schools, the safety of children, particularly girls, was a major reason for the increase in violence against children and child marriages.