We, the Civil Society Movement for the Elimination of Child Marriage believe that the act from Aisha Wedding on its official website, www.aishaweddings.com, and several other social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter which promoted the ideal age of marriage being between 12-21 years old, provides matchmaking services for parents who aim to marry off their children, provide services for arranging serect weddings (sirri), and matchmaking services for polygamy are against the law.
We believe that the actions of the owners, creators, and managers of www.aishaweddings.com can be suspected of constituting a criminal act which substantively violates the Child Protection Law and the Eradication of Criminal Act of Trafficking in Persons.
Furthermore, information delivered by the manager of www.aishaweddings.com to the public is misleading and frightening, which is suspected of being a criminal act as regulated by the Information and Electronic Transaction Law (UU ITE).
The actions of the owner, the creators and managers of www.aishaweddings.com contradict the efforts of women empowerment and child protection that have been carried out by the House of Representatives (DPR) and the Government to prevent and eliminate the practice of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and to eliminate child marriage through legislation. The Government and the Indonesian Parliament have passed laws including the Child Protection Law, the Law on the Eradication of the Crime of Trafficking in Persons and finally Law No. 16 of 2019 concerning Amendments to Law No.1 of 1974 concerning Marriage. In addition, the Government has also published the National Strategy for the Elimination of Child Marriage, as a guide to eliminate child marriage. The Supreme Court (MA) has published the Supreme Court Regulation (PERMA) No. 5 of 2019 concerning Guidelines for Adjudicating Marriage Dispensation Applications.
Efforts to eliminate the practice of child marriage are carried out by the Government and supported by civil society movements, as it is cumulatively proven to violate the principles and rights of children, causes damage to women’s reproductive organs, removes women’s access to education and decent work, and perpetuates poverty.
In regards with the actions of the owners, creators and managers of www.aishaweddings.com which endanger the lives of women and children, we, the Civil Society Movement for the Elimination of Child Marriage:
1. Urge the Police to conduct investigations and enforce relevant legislation against the owners, creators, and managers of www.aishaweddings.com
2. Urge the Ministry of Communications and Information to block online content and evaluate online and application based business that promote child marriage and provide matchmaking services which lead to the criminal act of trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
3. Urge the Board of Directors for online applications and website companies to take responsibility in a proactive manner, including stopping the promotion of child marriage and the provision of matchmaking services that lead to the crime of trafficking in persons, especially women and children
4. Urge the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection to strengthen the socialization of Law No. 16 of 2019 regarding the Amendment to Law No. 1 of 1974 concerning marriage, in order to strengthen efforts to prevent child marriage the village level. This includes encouraging the Ministry of Home Affairs to issue policies that encourage regional governments to issue regulations to prevent child marriage
5. Urge the Ministry of Social Affairs to include efforts to prevent child marriage into the social protection programs, particularly with social assistance
6. Urge the National Child Protection Commission (KPAI) to work together with civil society organizations in an effort to stop parties that promote child marriage
We, the Civil Society Movement for the Elimination of Child Marriage will continue to campaign and advocate for the elimination of child marriage and monitor the government’s efforts to eliminate child marriage.