Bangladesh: Report Shows Number of Child Marriages Continues to Rise
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 1:50 PM

In spite of the continuing efforts of both the government and civil society to stop child marriages, the practice is still prevalent in Bangladesh, reports IRIN. UNICEF's 2011 State of the World's Children report revealed that presently 66% of girls in Bangladesh will be wed before they reach the age of 18, a 2% increase since 2009.

The 1929 national Child Marriage Restraint Act prohibits the marriage of children under 18, but it is not always enforced. Government officials have made many efforts to curb the practice, including offering scholarships to girls who postpone marriage to attend secondary school. In the end, however, none of these efforts comprehensively address the root causes of the practice or its harmful consequences.

Early marriage has serious consequences for the health and well-being of the girl child. Early pregnancies often result in devastating health problems and death for young girls. Governmental and non-governmental campaigns are currently working to raise awareness of these consequences to expose the negative effects of child marriage to parents.

Read the full article here.

Compiled from: IRIN, "Bangladesh: Parents still not heeding child marriage warnings", (6 April 2011).