753 Mehedibag, Chittagong, Bangladesh

Child Marriage

Child marriage is legally prohibited. Under the law age limit below 18 years for the girls and below 21 years for the boys are deemed as child or minor. Marriage of child or minor is legally prohibited. And who will conduct the marriage of minors he will also be equally guilty. As a result of child marriage, the number of pregnant child is higher in Bangladesh than other countries in Asia. According to research findings of Population Fund of the United Nations one of three is got married under 13 years in Bangladesh. At such level of age, one of each ten gives birth to child. 64% child daughters get married before 18 years. In Bangladesh every year 2000 child daughter die from the complicacy of the pregnancy. It is a matter of great concern. Due to some socio-economic reasons we push our child daughters to disease and death by giving them untimely marriage at their childhood age. Childhood age is the time of formation of their body. During this age if they become pregnant their body formation is interrupted. Consequently, during conception of offspring complicacy is arisen and death occurs to both mother and child. In one meaning, death occurs to two children.

A male person of more than 21 years cannot marry a girl of age below 18 years. Who will disobey this law he will suffer one month jail and a fine of 1000/- Taka. The court may sentence both jail and fine at once. Who will conduct the marriage of minors he will also be equally guilty. The convicted person will suffer one month jail or give a fine of 1000/- Taka. The court may give penalty of both jail and fine at the same time. The parents those will give marriage to their minors they also be sentenced jail and fine. Penalty of this offence will be one month jail and 1000/- Taka fine. If anywhere there is arrangement of child marriage anybody can complain to the court.

Law regarding child marriage
  • Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
  • Dowry Prohibition Act
  • Women and Child Repression Control Act 2003
  • Birth and Death Registration Act 2004
  • Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2010

During October 2007 to December 2007, BITA conducted the study with a view to identifying the real causes and consequences of early marriage in Bangladesh. The study covered six administrative divisions of Bangladesh including rural and urban areas. A number of qualitative tools/methods such as in depth interview, focus group discussions, survey, and case studies were used to collect data. Form field visit it appears that prevent early marriage in a short period of time is not an easy task, it needs time and appropriate approaches to way forward.

Early Marriage is nothing new in Bangladesh; it is deeply embedded in the impoverished and traditional cultural settings. The prevalence of early marriage, therefore, will not disappear quickly. A holistic and multi faced program with a long term vision and mission both at the national level and the local level is a dire need to protect the children.

The findings of the study offer a number of implications for improving the effectiveness of policy and programs to address early marriage and its consequences. Both preventive and protective approaches are required to uproot the custom and norms of earl marriage from the society. A set of recommendations formulated for Government, donor agencies, national and international NGOs and community would fit into the preventive and protective approaches.