Jodhpur, India (CNN) — The Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) of 1929 set out to “eradicate the evil of child marriage” in India. Almost a century later, the south Asian nation remains home to a third of the world’s child brides.
As of 2017, 223 million girls and women who were married off before their 18th birthday lived in India, according to the United Nations agency, UNICEF. Only a fraction of the children entered into child marriages are boys. Between April 2019 and March 2020, Childline India received nearly nine times more complaints about the child marriage of girls than of boys.
Not only did the CMRA not eradicate child marriage, the law also failed to provide a way out for those children who had already been forced into marriage.
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Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense