Coordinated Effort to Combat Child Marriage through Massive Awareness
|Snap Shot: Duration : January 2020 to August 2020; Funded by : Winrock-International-USA ; Geographical Location : Chapainowabgonj, Noagaon, Rangpur, Kurigram, Tangail & Coxs Bazar District|
Goal: Support girls in Bangladesh to realize their rights to protection and education through reduction of child marriage.
Objective: To reduce incidence of child marriage among girls in 12 Upazilas (sub-districts) of 06 districts in Bangladesh through mass awareness raising and strengthening child protection mechanism against child marriage in order to support girls, right to an education.
Bangladesh committed to? Bangladesh has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. During its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum, the government noted that women’s empowerment plays a prominent role in the Constitution of Bangladesh, the National Women Development Policy and the Child Marriage Restraint Act. Bangladesh ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage. Bangladesh is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12 countries over four years. Bangladesh is a member of the South Asian Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC) which adopted a regional action plan to end child marriage from 2015-2018. Representatives of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Bangladesh, asserted the Kathmandu Call to Action to End Child Marriage in Asia in 2014. As part of its commitment, Bangladesh will ensure access to legal remedies for child brides and establish a uniform minimum legal age of marriage of 18. During its 2013 Universal Periodic Review, Bangladesh supported recommendations to improve efforts to protect children from forced marriage, and to more effectively implement the Child Marriage Restraint act and the Dowry Prohibition Act. At the 2014 Girl Summit, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.
What is the government doing to address this at the national level? Bangladesh has made it compulsory to present a birth certificate at the time of marriage. Child Marriage Free Unions are movements led by local government and facilitated by Plan Bangladesh with the aim of enforcing existing law more effectively. In February 2017, Parliament adopted the Child Marriage Restraint Act despite widespread concerns over a special provision allowing child marriage in ‘special cases’. The Act does not define what constitutes a special case. There are fears that such a provision will legitimize statutory rape and encourage child marriage. The President signed the bill into law on 11 March 2017. The government has also begun developing, under the leadership of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, a National Action Plan to Eliminate Child Marriage 2015-2021. Progress on adopting and implementing the plan has stalled in the face of backlash against recent regressive legal proposals.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage? The minimum legal age for marriage in Bangladesh is 18 years for girls and 21 for boys. However, the Child Marriage Restraint Act 2017 includes a loophole where a court can allow child marriage in “special cases”. The act does not explicitly define what those “special cases” might be.
Project indicators and targets
- the prevalence of child marriage in the working area reduced by 35 % at the end of project period;
- at-risk persons and victims of child marriage identified by targeted communities and referred to support services 100% at the end of project;
- community leaders, including parents, grandparents, local leaders, elected representatives, youth (peer leaders) duty bearers and different committee trained to reduce the prevalence of child marriage 100 % of the project area ;
- targeted communities reached with child marriage prevention-related information 75% at the end of the project period
- knowledge and skills of duty bearers (Marriage Registrars and UP members), targeted groups and community members improved on prevention of child marriage, Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017 and redress mechanisms 80 % at the end of the project period at project locations;
- access to direct services for At-risks and victim of child marriage enhanced 100 % at project locations ;
- responsibilities of UP, VAW prevention committee and child marriage prevention committee well-defined 90 % at project locations at the end of project period;
- Functioning of local administration and other duty bearers according to Rules of Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2017 ensured 90 % at project locations at the end of project period.
Project Activities and Implementation Strategy
|Sl #||Particulars||Planned Units|
|1||District Level Workshop with for 5 District on Combating Child Marriage||5|
|2||District Level Workshop for Cox’s Bazar District on combating child marriage||1|
|3||Upazila Level Workshop for 5 district (10 Upazila) on combating child marriage||10|
|4||Upazila Level Workshop for Cox’s Bazar District on combating child marriage||2|
|6||School/Madrasa/Collage students orientation on CM issue||120|
|7||Train Marriage Registrar (Muslim & Hindu) on Child Marriage issue at Total Upazila 10 = 12 person+ project staff-2+ support staff -1= 15 person||10|
|8||Train Marriage Registrar (Muslim & Hindu) on Child Marriage issue at Cox’s Bazar District Total Upazila 2 = 12 person+ project staff-2+ support staff -1= 15 person person||2|
|9||Orientation for UP Members, Union VAW prevention Committee Members, standing committee of UP Trafficking Committee on Child Marriage||50|
|10||Orientation for UP Members, Union VAW prevention Committee Members, standing committee of UP Trafficking Committee Child Marriage at Cox’s Bazar||2|
|11||Orientation for other stack holders (SMC, Local Leaders, CBOs, CSO, Media on child marriage issue at District Level||12|
|12||Door-to-door NO CHILD Marriage campaign at 600 HH||15|
|13||Mobilization / Sensitization sessions for parents, grandparents etc , Per Upazila 1 events at high school||12|
|14||Mobilization / Sensitization sessions for religious leaders, teachers, political leaders, journalist on child marriage issue at Upazila Level||12|
|15||Student Council at District against Child Marriage with high school female student||6|
|16||Digital Sign Board at UP Office||30|
|17||Bill Board at District/upazila||2|
|19||Education Support to victim of child marriage||4|
|20||Peer leader group formation (Meeting with potential peer leaders)||12|
|21||Training with peer leaders on CM issue 2 days 2 at 5 districts||2|
|22||Training with peer leaders on CM issue 2 days 2 at Cox’s Bazar||1|
|23||Staff capacity building training||1|
|24||Training with peer leaders on CM issue 2 days 2 at Cox’s Bazar||1|
|25||Cluster wise BC/TIP sub grantee sharing meeting. Participants 17||1|
|26||Staff coordination bi-monthly meeting||60|