India: No more wedding cards for child marriages

10 printers in the Karnataka region of India have decided to stop printing wedding cards for families that want to marry off their child. From now on, they will ask the parents for a birth-certificate or an official document that indicates the child's age. This is the result of a lobby campaign by Terre des Hommes' regional partners in which local businesses are involved with the fight against child marriages.

Child abuse

14,2 million child brides  

It is estimated that 14.2 million girls become victims of child marriages on an annual basis worldwide. Its causes are complex, but usually relate to poverty and a lack of education. But also traditions and views on the role of girls in society play a part. It is estimated that 30% of the girls in the Karnataka region in India fall victim to a child marriage. Over 50 million people live in this southern state and Bangalore is the region's capital city.

Child marriage offers security for children

"In an uncertain social environment where rape and sexual abuse have become commonplace, this was the best I could do", a mother said. "Who would want to marry her if she were to be raped or abused? Now she has a husband who can take care of her.

Tackling child marriages

'Prevention' is the most important pillar of the programme against child abuse in Asia. Terre des Hommes commits to prevent child marriages in rural communities in Bangladesh and India, but also pays attention to girls who are already married. Married or not, they are still
children. The programme, in cooperation with local partners, aims to ensure these young girls are able to lead a dignified life and to enable them to achieve their full potential and become aware of their fundamental rights, including education, nutrition and sexual and reproductive
health and rights.

Now let's convince the others...

Children who are victims of exploitation need protection and support. Together with policy makers, businesses, communities and our donors we stop child exploitation. These Indian businesses take part. Now let's convince others. Will you join us? 

Learn more about the fight against child marriages in Asia >>

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