Regional Conference On Child Marriage – 2018
“The Odisha Government has implemented various schemes to promote education among girl children in tribal-dominated districts including Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Mayurbhanj, Koraput, Rayagada. The schemes include free boarding school education for tribal children, Cycle Yojana etc” Padhi said.
West Bengal has recorded the country’s highest child marriages with 40.7 percent, followed by Bihar 39.1 percent, Jharkhand 38 percent, Assam 32.7 percent and Odisha and Chhattisgarh 21.3 percent each. Odisha ranks 13th in the list, according to a survey conducted in 2015-16.
Among others, NHRC secretary general Ambuj Sharma, Odisha Home Secretary Asit Tripathy, Director General of South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children Rinchen Chophel and Indian Alliance for Child Rights (IACR) President Razia Ismail were present on the occasion.
Expressing serious concern over the prevalence of child marriages in eastern states, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Thursday urged the state governments to adopt zero tolerance towards child marriages in their states.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the Regional Conference on Child Marriage here, NHRC secretary-general Ambuj Sharma has urged the state government to ensure strict enforcement of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
“In this conference, we will discuss various challenges faced by the enforcing agencies for effective implementation of the Act and also consider modalities needed for tracking, recording, reporting and follow-up of child marriage incidents,” said Sharma.
NHRC member SC Sinha said that child marriage is a serious violation of human rights. “Protection of childhood security and children’s dignity is one of the pressing concerns of the world today. To end child marriage we have to create awareness among the people and explain them its ill effects. Parents need to be sensitized about the fact that it has a life-long adverse impact on their children.” Sinha said.
The silent social sanction for child marriage needs to be eradicated from society. More and more educational facilities and employment opportunities for girls need to be created and social eco-system ensuring the security of girls in educational institutions must be enhanced, the member stated.
According to National Family Health Survey-4, West Bengal and Bihar are top states vis-à-vis child marriages recording 40.7 per cent and 39.1 percent respectively, followed by Jharkhand 38 percent and Rajasthan 35.4 percent. Orissa is in 13th position in the list with 21.3 percent child marriages.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, who was also present at the meet, said that fast reduction in child marriage rate in Orissa could be possible because of the awareness activities and schematic interventions of the government over the last years.
Padhi mentioned that all the women and girl child development programmes of the state government aim to abolish child marriage. The scheme of establishing a number of girls’ hostels in the tribal areas helped to retain about half-a-million tribal girls in educational institutions and this has led to prevention of their marriage at an early age.
As per Mamata scheme of the state government, assistance is given only to mothers who are above 19 years of age. Around 1.5 million mothers are being benefited through this scheme, the Chief Secretary said.
Besides, he said, 30 percent of the seats in skill development programmes have been reserved for women and girls and state targets to take this to 50 percent in next couple of years to encourage the parents and girls to continue education, which, in turn, will help to prevent child marriage.
Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Asit Kumar Tripathy said that because of the continuous endeavors during the last years a visible structure has been put in place to prevent crime against women and girl child.
Tripathy mentioned that now 537 women and child desks are operational at police station level, while and 37 Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking Units are functioning in different parts of the state. Police in every district of the state has a specific unit to investigate crimes against girls and women.
===Regional Conference – Child Marriage – 2018===
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday asked the state governments to provide the enabling environment for girls’ education and create more employment opportunity for them. IN addition which would help check drop-out and eradicate child marriage.
Expressing concern over the deep-rooted practice at the first two-day regional conference on child marriage. Here, NHRC member Sharad Chandra Sinha said one important topic. It is that more active Child Marriage Prohibition Officers need to be appointed. As has been noted in the States as guided by Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
“We must focus on the issues related to empowerment of daughters, mothers, and other stakeholders through education, capacity development, financial security, motivational campaigns and community actions.”
There is a need to draw a comprehensive strategy to deal with the child marriage,” he said. The current model of development proves that it is easy to evolve a top-down strategy of socio-cultural change, but difficult to implement it. “Unless people perceive the problem as their own and regard it as a social evil and a crime, child marriage will not be eradicated.”
Though the creation of an enabling social environment to resist the prevailing social forces is a challenging task. A regular network of school students, teachers, mothers, community leaders and other social stakeholders can challenge the legacy of child marriage.
He advised to take vigorous steps to create awareness and educate parents about the ill-effects of social evil. The former IPS officer urged the States to approach villages and districts where child marriage is endemic.
Child marriage is a serious violation of human rights. And one of the pressing concerns in the protection of childhood security. While South Asia has the highest number of children at risk accounting for more than half of global child marriages.
The latest National Family Health Survey indicates A MATTER OF FACT. It is at least 26.8 percent women aged 20 to 24 were married before 18 in India.
West Bengal, Bihar, and Jharkhand are among seven States of the country having the highest incidence of child marriages. All things considered, West Bengal has recorded the country’s highest child marriages with 40.7 percent. Followed by Bihar 39.1 %, Jharkhand 38 percent and Assam 32.7 % and Odisha and Chhattisgarh 21.3 %t each.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi specifically highlighted the steps. And he explained schemes launched by the Odisha Government.
In the first place, NHRC secretary general Ambuj Sharma, Women and Child Development Secretary Chithra Arumugam, Director General of South Asia are important guests. They spoke to end Violence Against Children.