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How we’re working with communities to create a child-marriage-free state in India

POSTED September 27, 2022

How we’re working with communities to create a child-marriage-free state in India

Children Believe’s recent report reveals ways we can end child marriage in Tamil Nadu

By Danielle Daley, digital community coordinator, Canada

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The pandemic sparked a boom in child marriages, and our teams around the world are hard at work addressing this challenge. In India, we recently completed a research study with recommendations to end child marriage in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. 

Our report, “Policy Recommendations to End Child Marriage in Tamil Nadu”, shares our findings, including why it’s so important to make change happen.

Results show 31 percent of girls married between the ages of 12 and 18 had already delivered their first child. Yet, the report confirmed there are many reasons for these unions. Some are love marriages. Child marriage is also common among low-income families and for those who don’t have access to government assistance. Others face pressure from the community and religious leaders.

Challenges abound, but based on the findings of our study, we have recommendations for positive change…

  • map high incidence areas
  • prepare a step-by-step standard operating procedure, including who would be involved in helping prevent a child marriage
  • involve the community in supporting change
  • share information about how the government helps
  • work with the government to propose revisions to social protection
  • encourage girls to continue their education in secondary school

The good news is our report shows survey participants are concerned and interested in ending child marriage.

In the communities where we work around the world, such as Tamil Nadu, we’re already working with parents, youth and children to create positive change. We’ve been doing this by supporting faith leaders, police and government to uphold existing laws protecting girls from child marriages; challenging social norms; building knowledge and skills of girls so they can protect themselves and others; and empowering community leaders to lead positive change.

Read our full report: “Policy Recommendations to End Child Marriage in Tamil Nadu.

And, find out how you can help girls in India learn their rights and end child marriage in their communities today.

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ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE:

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.