February 5, 2020 03:30 PM NPT
KATHMANDU, Feb 5: Incidents of child marriage have not decreased although many programmes for abolishing child marriage practice have been implemented in line with the National Strategy to End Child Marriage 2072.
The legal marriageable age in Nepal is 20 years. A study of the news related to child marriage carried by various newspapers conducted by National Child Rights Council (NCRC) shows that 116 minors were married in 80 cases of child marriage in 22 districts.
The study covered a period from mid-August to mid-November. It is estimated that incidents of child marriage must be higher than this as many incidents might not have come to light or been reported due to the lack of access or awareness.
A classification of the incidents of child marriage shows that in 36 incidents of child marriages 72 underage girls and boys were married below the permissible age of marriage. Similarly, three girl child are found married to a person with a huge age difference while 41 girls were found married to adult male, NCRC spokesperson Ram Bahadur Chand said.
Among those married at underage, 56 had married voluntarily or by eloping, 38 children were married off by their parents and 22 had married due to the misuse of social sites and Facebook. A gender analysis of the incidents of child marriage showed that 36 are male children and 80 are girl child.
District-wise, the highest number of children has married in Morang district. Twenty-two children have married in Morang. Nepal Police has counseled some of the children who have married at an early age and their parents on the need of giving continuity to their education.
Out of the 80 incidents of child marriages reported during the four months' period, Nepal Police intercepted in eight while the local children's clubs in two incidents and stopped them.
The trend of underage children themselves marrying voluntarily has also increased in recent years with the development of information and communication technology.