Bangladesh: Proposed Law Would Allow Child Marriage in “Special Cases”

Human rights organizations say a proposal to allow underage girls to marry in certain cases represents a “step backward in efforts to end child marriage” in Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi Parliament is currently considering amendments to the country’s law against child marriages that would allow girls to marry in undefined “special cases.” The Prime Minister of Bangladesh has said such special cases “would apply in instances of accidental pregnancy, or where a marriage would help to protect a girl's ‘honour’ and the family's reputation.” However, advocates say child marriage is not the answer because early marriage increases a girl’s risk of “sexual, physical and psychological violence” as well as social isolation and poverty.

Compiled from: Bhalla, Nita Bangladeshi law proposing child marriage in "special cases" is a step backwards - charities, Thomson Reuters Foundation (January 13, 2017).