Marriage is not for Children: Study on Reducing Child Marriage in 7 Regions

Child marriage has become a global issue, especially in Asian countries. Indonesia is no exception. Statistically, Indonesia is ranked the fourth highest in Asia and number one among ASEAN Member States for child marriage cases. Although the regulation has raised the minimum age of marriage to 19 years, and the regulation related to marriage dispensation has been strengthened, the practice of child marriage is still happening. In fact, 22 out of 34 provinces have child marriage rates higher than the national average. This shows that policies alone are not enough to reduce the rate of child marriage.

Therefore, Yayasan Plan International Indonesia (Plan Indonesia) and the Indonesian Women's Coalition for Justice and Democracy (IWC) launched a study Marriage is not for Children: Study on Reducing Child Marriage in 7 Regions as a result of the situation and condition observation in seven districts/cities post an amendment to Law Number 1 (1974) and Law Number 16 (2019) concerning Marriage. The seven districts/cities are Sukabumi (West Java), Rembang (Central Java), West Lombok (NTB), Lembata (NTT), Palu, Sigi and Donggala (Central Sulawesi).

This study found at least 9 (nine) factors that drive the need for child marriage including the COVID-19 pandemic, the modus of parents in the child marriage, child marriage policies, as well as the dynamics related to marriage dispensation. There are seven recommendations presented in the study to stakeholders to accelerate the prevention of child marriage in Indonesia. We hope the results of this study can contribute to creative ideas and encourage various policy innovations, programs and activities to eliminate child marriage practices in Indonesia

Read the full study through the following links