Stereotyping a social malaise such as child marriage comes with the preset notion that this menace is limited to a few third world countries. After a bit of research on the subject I was astonished to discover that this form of child abuse is a global phenomenon and not restricted to countries like India and Bangladesh. However the practice of child marriage has declined in recent decades and remains common in the rural areas and amongst the most poverty stricken.
In countries like India, a village has it own rural government (Panchayat) and understandably all social, economic and religious decisions are sanctioned by the village elders. In this dynamic social set up modern concepts of social change stand no chance.
The law on the other hand is not completely silent on the subject, but on the contrary is very specific when it covers the child’s right to protection from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parents, guardian, or any other person.
So why does this law quiver when statisticians go trigger happy conjuring
In families with limited resources, child marriage is often considered a way to provide for a daughter’s future, However what is not understood is that their education and well being is an investment in the future of our social fabric.
So how you can help prevent child marriage?
The international government humanitarian aid group UNICEF is working hard to provide education and support to girls and boys around the world so that they are able to take a stand against being forced into child marriage.
The primary objective of me writing this blog was to…
1) Spread awareness, especially in the developed world where a child’s security and happiness are considered paramount in the quest for a healthy adult life
2) Draw attention to the rampant abuse of little girls and boys who in certain cases are younger than 8 years of age
3) Refer to global statistics which very clearly highlight the fact that it is the poor countries who seem to be the obvious victims of this social malaise and that is primarily due to a lack of education.
4) Shortage of developed world funding which can help emancipate these children of a lesser God and lastly…
5) Weak economic sanctions against countries that turn a nelsons eye to this problem
6) Bridge the mental gap between the aware and the un-effected
7) Encourage the new generation readers to facilitate social debate on this taboo subject thus opening minds and hearts to the evils that this brings to the very fabric of social change
8) Awaken media attention to this form of social subjugation
9) Call upon international corporates to sponsor or adopt backward villages where this evil prosper under a veiled fabric
10) ‘Power to the people’ where citizens from the affected countries make the mandate/ballot count and hold politicians responsible.
I rest my case as I now slip into a very melancholic mood… restless and disturbed at the very thought that there are still thousands of children losing their right to child-hood.