Early marriage in South Asia


Early marriage is by no means a new phenomenon. It is a socially established practice that has been carried on from generation to generation. This is despite the existence of international and regional instruments that all the States in South Asia have ratified. Governments in the region also settled upon 18 as the minimum legal age at marriage. However, they are often either unable to enforce existing laws, or rectify discrepancies between national laws and customary and religious laws. Most often, child marriage is considered as a family matter and governed by religion and culture, which ensure its continuity. It remains therefore a widely ignored violation of the rights of girls and women and exposes them to multiple risks, including to sexual abuse and exploitation. Compiled from a study undertaken by Mira, B. AGHI, this paper examines early marriage in the region in order to offer information for analysis and discussion.


Every Women Every Child, unicef



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