Skip to main content

Why hasn't India signed 1962 UN convention on minimum age of marriage, registration? asks UNICEF document

Counterview Desk
A recent UNICEF document, “Reducing Child Marriage in India: A model to scale up results?” has sharply criticized the Government of India authorities for failing to sign up a more than five-decades old United Nations document crucial document seeking complete abolition of child labour.
The study, released in January 2016, says: “India is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages (1962)”, insisting, “This means it has not committed itself to the provisions of marriage only by clearly expressed consent of both parties, who have to be of an age competent to give legal consent.”
Even as pointing out that India is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, “which mentions elimination of child marriage”, the UNICEF document has characterized the failure to sign up the 1962 convention as an “ambiguity in its commitment to the international community” to abolish child marriage.
No doubt, the document says, “India has adopted laws to declare the practice of child marriage illegal and implemented a number of schemes to prevent it... The first act against child marriage, the Sarda Act, came as early as 1929”, it notes, adding, “It was later renamed as the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929.”
"After almost seven decades”, UNICEF notes, “It was replaced by the new Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA 2006)”, suggesting these are piecemeal solutions.“Despite the new law and designated officials and roles, the enforcement has been extremely slow and the number of cases reported is very low”, it adds.
Quoting from the 2014 compendium of Crime in India to show official indifference towards child marriage, the document says, it lists “just 280 reported cases of child marriage (National Crime Records Bureau), which obviously does not begin to reflect the true extent of child marriage in India.”
The document says, there are “more than 47 per cent of women in the age group of 20-24 years were reported to have married before attaining the age of 18 in 2005-2006, adding, “The 2011 census estimates nearly 17 million children in the age group of 10-19 years to be married.”
“Although a substantial body of research exists on the factors that contribute to the prevalence, and a large number of policy and programme interventions are in place, the rate of change in child marriage has been slow in India”, the document underlines.
Thus, it says, “Between 1990 and 2005, child marriages declined at a rate of just 1 per cent per year. Since 2005, the rate in the decline has accelerated to 2 per cent per year.” It adds, “A comparative analysis of Census 2001 and 2011 reveals that there has been a change of -1.04 percentage points for married girls in the age group 15-19 years.”
“This trend is common for all India as well as high prevalence states (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal)”, the document – which focuses on the four states – points out, adding, “The ratio of girls married below the age of 18 is much higher in rural areas compared to urban areas (69:31) in relation to the overall distribution of the rural-urban population in the country.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?