16th October 2022
Child Marriage Free India Campaign
The most definitive and audacious commitment to end child marriage was made by the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation on 16th October 2022 in India. A small spark ignited by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi was carried forward by over 76,000 courageous women in 7,028 villages across the country.
Child marriage is an age-old rampant practice in India and in many countries across the world. It robs children of their childhood, hurtling them into adulthood overnight. In India, 23.3% of women (between the 20-24 age group) were married before they turned 18. Child marriage is a crime of unprecedented horror. It is repeated child sexual abuse and rape. Till now, child marriage was viewed from the lens of social evil, instead of the crime that it really is.
We aim to reduce child marriages by 10% from the current 23.3% by 2025.
Timeline of Events
Since 16th October 2022, a number of efforts have been taken by us, the government and various child protection mechanisms/stakeholders across the country, to keep the spark alive.
Assam Government’s Action
Giving a boost to our ongoing efforts, the Assam government took action against those involved in child marriage, putting over 3000 perpetrators behind bars.
(20 February 2023)
The consultation witnessed the participation of the chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Priyank Kanoongo and members of 13 State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs). Chief guest, Ms Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development called for reducing child marriage to zero in India.
Letters Written to Authorities
1,507 letters were sent to stakeholders including 737 District Magistrates and 656 Superintendents of police ahead of Akshay Tritiya and Eid-Ul-Fitr to take action against child marriage which is prevalent during these festivals.
(22 April 2023)
Strict vigilance was maintained and 134 child marriages were foiled during the festive season of Akshaya Tritiya and Eid-ul-Fitr when the frequency of child marriage is generally very high.
Rajasthan SCPCR’s Support
Supporting KSCF’s call, Rajasthan SCPCR Chairperson Ms Sangeeta Beniwal directed the SCPCR authorities to send a letter to the Director General of Police advising him to take necessary action in cases of child marriage.