Child marriage continues unabated, says NCRC

Kathmandu, February 5

Incidents of child marriage have not decreased in the country even though multifarious programmes have been implemented to abolish the practice in line with the National Strategy to End Child Marriage-2015.

Marriageable age in Nepal as stipulated by the law is 20. A study conducted by the National Child Rights Council on news reports covered by various newspapers on child marriage revealed that 116 minors were married off in 22 districts.

The study covered a period from mid-August to mid-November. “Incidents of child marriage must be higher as many incidents go unreported,” read the NCRC report. Total 72 underage girls and boys tied knot in 36 incidents of child marriage.

Three minor girls were married off to men much older to them, while 41 girls were also married off to adult men, said National Child Rights Council spokesperson Ram Bahadur Chand.

Among those married before the age of majority, 78 persons had married voluntarily while 38 were subjected to pressure by their parents. According to the report on child marriage, 36 were boys while 80 girls. Morang district recorded the highest cases of child marriage. Twenty-two undergage persons tied knot in the district.

Nepal Police has been providing counseling for some of the children who were married at an early age, as well as for their guardians. Police officials have urged the guardians to ensure that the married children got education, according the report.

Due to easy access to information and communication technology, trend of underage children getting married voluntarily has increased across the country in the recent years, according to National Child Rights Council . Many national and international organisations active in Nepal have been running programmes aimed at controlling child marriage.