Year-long campaign to stop child marriage launched
A year-long campaign titled “Bride Not before 18” to stop child marriage in the country was launched by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and World Vision Bangladesh (WVB) yesterday.
A signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the issue was exchanged between NHRC and WVB at the launching ceremony at a hotel in the capital.
It is estimated that 66 percent of girls in Bangladesh are married off before the age of 18 and 32 percent before the age of 15, the MoU stated.
The campaign will engage young people at advocacy level to stop child marriage and increase advocacy on child rights issues, said speakers.
Child marriage is not only a curse; it is also a crime and a violation of human rights, said Sultana Kamal, executive director of Ain O Salish Kendra.
The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 is one of the weakest legislations of the country. It should be amended soon, said Kazi Reazul Hoque, a High Court judge and member of NHRC.
Child marriage is a big issue in many Asian and African countries. It is a cultural practice, so we scheduled the campaign in a way that can involve different communities, said WVB National Director Jan de Waal.