Ministry of Women and Child Development
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Measures to Prevent Child Marriages

Posted On: 09 FEB 2022 3:38PM by PIB Delhi

The Government has enacted the ‘Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA), 2006’ for prohibition of solemnisation of child marriages and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Section 16 of the PCMA Act authorises the State Government to appoint for the whole State, or such part thereof as may be specified, an officer or officers to be known as the 'Child Marriage Prohibition Officers (CMPO)' having jurisdiction over the area or areas specified in the notification. The Section also specifies the functions to be discharged by CMPOs, which also includes creation of awareness about the detrimental effects of child marriages and to sensitize the community about this issue. These authorities function under the superintendence of respective State Governments / UTs. As such, the data regarding the number of awareness campaigns undertaken under the PCMA Act are maintained by the respective State Governments/ UT Administrations.

In addition, the Central Government also undertakes awareness drives, media campaigns and outreach programmes and issues advisories to the States/ UTs from time to time to highlight the various issues about this evil practice. Further, the Ministry of Women and Child Development implements the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)’ scheme, wherein women and society at large are made aware about gender equality and ill effects of child marriages.        

Further, Government of India has introduced CHILDLINE with short code 1098, a 24X7 telephone emergency outreach service for children in crisis, which responds with suitable interventions to calls for any form of assistance which a child requires, including for prevention of child marriages in coordination with police, CMPOs, District Child Protection Units etc.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) undertakes various activities and programmes from time to time with concerned stakeholders/ organizations such as representatives of Child Welfare Committees (CWC), Police, Women and Child Development Department and Civil Society organizations on the issue of child marriages and related matters. Further, NCPCR requested all States/ UTs to issue directions to all stakeholders, including Sarpanches and Civil Society Organizations to take proactive steps and preventive measures to stop child marriages on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya.        

In addition, the Commission organised 55 Benches / Camps in aspirational districts of various State/ UTs during 2019-20. With this proactive effort of taking all the stakeholders on board at district level, the Commission pointed out a number of issues related to child rights including child marriage before the district authorities, concerned officials and the respective State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCRs). The Commission also heard a number of grievances during its camps in the districts. Visits, Inspections and interactions with children as well as community were also undertaken to understand the concerns of children. Further, the Commission took 35 online Inter-Departmental Review Meetings with all State/ UTs during October–November 2020. The Commission also carried out a detailed exercise to identify indicators based on various child-related legislations. The indicators were on programmes and provisions provided under the various Child related legislations including the issue of child marriages.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

 

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