‘RISE IN FOETICIDE, UNWED MOTHERS: ODISHA CHILD RIGHTS PANEL OPPOSES MARRIAGE AGE LAW

Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) has opposed the proposed law to raise the marriage age for women to 21, saying it will create a new set of problems such as an increase in instances of foeticide and unwed mothers. The commission chairperson also said it will leave people rescued from child marriages in the 19-21 age group in the lurch as existing laws only support vulnerable children up to the age of 18 years.

“Acts like Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act and schemes like Integrated Child Protection Scheme have scope to extend support to vulnerable children only up to the age of 18. In such circumstances, there will be no space to provide support to a child bride or groom between the age of 19 to 21 if rescued from child marriage,” Sandhyabati Pradhan, who leads Odisha’s child rights panel, said in a letter to Vinay P. Sahasrabuddhe, chairperson of the parliamentary standing committee on education, women, children, youth and sports that is examining the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Pradhan also underlined that laws such as the child sex abuse law, Pocso only bars consensual sex up to the age of 18. “This implies that someone may have sexual act after 18 but won’t be able marry till 21 which will create new sets of issues like increasing unwed mothers and foeticide thereafter,” she said in her letter.

News Source : Hindustan Times

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