Hindustan Times (Lucknow)

CHILD MARRIAGE A PENAL OFFENCE

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The Prohibitio­n of Child Marriage Act, 2006, makes it illegal for girls to marry under 18 years and for boys under 21 years. It is a non-cognizable and non-bailable offence with a fine up to Rs 100,000, or up to two years of imprisonme­nt, or both.

FACTS IN FIGURES

UP has two million married girls in age group 10- 19 years Child marriage violates the right to equality and non-discrimina­tion, right to developmen­t, education, and freedom from violence, access to reproducti­ve health and right to consensual marriage Under 18 pregnancie­s have harmful physical, social, psychologi­cal effects on girls. Girls with higher levels of schooling are less likely to marry as children. Child brides often show signs symptomati­c of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress such as severe depression. Girls who marry before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence than their peers who marry later. Pregnancy is consistent­ly among the leading causes of death for girls aged between 15 and 19 worldwide. UP also has the highest number of children born to children: 1 million. The joy of their innocent childhood should not be snatched from these girls said Sutapa Sanyal .

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