Nepal | November 30, 2020

Incidents of child marriage on the rise

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, July 29

The new penal code has prohibited child marriage. It has also increased the marriageable age to 20 years. Yet, children below the permissible age continue to be married off.

Data with Nepal police showed there were 15 cases of   child marriage in fiscal 2013-14 followed by 23 in fiscal 2014-15, 20 in   2015-16, 26 in 2016-17    and 59 in 2017-18.  Spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General Sanjeeb Raj Regmi said awareness programmes should be launched in areas where incidents of child marriage were high as laws alone could not prevent child marriage.

“In some areas, it is customary to marry off children early or before boys and girls attain 20 years of age,” Regmi said, adding that the government should sensitise people about the need to raise the marriageable age of their offspring to 20 years. “The message that permissible age for marriage ensures the well-being of both mothers and newborn babies should be communicated well in society. Stakeholders also need to make the public aware that those practising child marriage, particularly the guardians, would be punished by law,” he added.

Regional Manager of Centre for Reproductive Rights  Purna Shrestha said child marriage was a crime and a violation of human rights. She said child marriage had led to multiple health complications in mothers, including unwanted pregnancy and uterine prolapse. “Boys and girls who get married before permissible age drop out of school and they also become victims of psychological, physical and sexual violence,” she said.

She said it was important to treat child marriage as a crime and not a cultural practice. “There are people who still treat child marriage as a cultural practice. This poses obstacle in rooting out the social evil of child marriage,” Shrestha added.

Sustainable Development Goals also envisage abolition of child marriage by 2030.

Shrestha said the new penal code was better than the previous general code as it made child marriage void, but anti-dowry laws also needed to be implemented. “There are communities that tend to marry off their daughters at an early age because they think doing so would spare them from the burden of dowry in future,” she argued.

“In our society, people look down on girls whose marriages have been nullified by the law or who have been abandoned by their spouses,” she said.


A version of this article appears in print on July 30, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Mahrez hat-trick as Man City thrash Burnley 5-0 yet again

MANCHESTER: Riyad Mahrez scored a hat-trick as Manchester City hammered Burnley 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday -- the fourth straight time Pep Guardiola's side have beaten the Clarets at home by that scoreline. City had netted just 10 goals in their open Read More...

Oli counters Dahal with 38-page salvo

Oli raises a host of issues and questions Dahal’s role in relation to them KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today presented a 38-page long rebuttal to party Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s 19- page proposal saying Dahal’s proposal had led to a serious crisis in the party a Read More...

Record-setting week at Nepse

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The country’s sole secondary market witnessed a number of records broken in the trading week between November 22 and 26, with the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) index surging by 6.47 per cent or 115.13 points week-on-week to scale to a new peak. Opening at 1,778.12 p Read More...

Raphinha's late strike gives Leeds victory at Everton

LIVERPOOL: Brazilian winger Raphinha scored his first goal for Leeds United to give his side a 1-0 win in an eventful Premier League game full of disallowed goals and superb saves at Goodison Park on Saturday. With England manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands, Everton keeper Read More...


MoFAGA formulates procedure to enhance public accountability

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 28 The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has formulated procedure related to public accountability promotion for its implementation at the local levels. The procedure aims to enhance the public accountability of local governments by making elected repre Read More...

‘Chandragadi airport to be upgraded as per new DPR’

JHAPA, NOVEMBER 28 Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Kumar Bhattarai today said upgradation of Chandragadi airport would be carried out as per the latest detailed project report. Upon receiving a memo submitted by Save Chandragadi Airport Committee, Minister Bhattarai clarified tha Read More...

Jagadamba steel

Industrial blast injures four

BARA, NOVEMBER 28 At least four labourers were injured in an explosion at a furnace of Jagadamba Steel in Jitpursimara sub-metropolis of Bara today. The four persons, including two Indians, were injured in the incident that took place early this morning. The injured have been identified as Read More...

Cold store being built

DHARAN, NOVEMBER 28 Construction of a cold store in Sunsari’s Barahachhetra Municipality has reached the final stage, signalling an end to the plight of having to take local products elsewhere for storage. Sunsari’s Barahachhetra has developed wards in the plains and prioritised livestock Read More...