How Is Child Marriage In India Violating The Convention Of Children Rights?

1962 words - 8 pages

Child marriage in developing countries is violating the Convention of Children Rights. This legislation was set out to protect every child. Child marriage refers to a marriage or union whereby one or both of the partakers are under the age of eighteen (UNICEF, 2001). This essay is focusing on the question of what rights are being violated through child marriage and what are the reasons behind its violation. Poverty, low eduction levels and cultural influences have been found to be the reasons for this ongoing problem. Possible solutions to eradicate child brides are higher education levels for girls and satrengthening the rights system. This is being analysed by looking at the UN Children Rights and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006) replacing the Child Marriage Restraint Act (1929). This prohibits marriage of a girl under 18 years and under 21 years for a boy. The issue with child marriage is that young children are being robbed of their childhood, taken away from their safe environment, abused and do not have the right to be educated.

Child marriage is a practice that violates not only the fundamental rights of people, outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but also the inherent rights of children, summarised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a global issue, particularly prevalent in developing countries, where approximately one in three girls will be married by the time they are 18, where India is high-ranking in its prevalence of child marriage with approximately 47% of the females married by 18 (Girls Not Brides, 2014). Child marriage is in breach of several articles within the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In the UDHR states marriage should only be entered with free consent and that no person should be subject to cruel or degrading treatment. Although it affects both males and females, it is adversely discriminatory towards females (UNICEF, 2012). This gender discrimination is infringing upon article two, subsection two, which declares that children should be “protected against all forms of discrimination”. Children should also be protected from physical or mental violence, including sexual abuse (Article 19), though girls who marry before 18 are at a greater risk of suffering from domestic violence. Children also have the right to the “highest attainable standard of health” (Article 24, subsection one), because girls who marry before 18 are more likely to suffer from child birth complications and are much more likely to contract HIV or AIDS (Girls Not Brides, 2014). Article 28 recognises the “right of the child to education”. Almost always, child brides halt their education, which prevents them from earning an income. Child marriage occurs for many reasons; it is a practice that infringes upon many children rights and has tremendously damaging consequences to the minors involved.

Many reasons for the occurrence of child marriage...

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