File photo Photograph:( Reuters )
A United Nations report released on Wednesday urged Bangladesh to take more drastic efforts if it wants to end child marriages in the country
A United Nations report released on Wednesday urged Bangladesh to take more drastic efforts if it wants to end child marriages in the country.
Currently, the country has set 2041 as the goal to eliminate child marriages from the country.
"This human rights violation...[is] robbing children of their childhoods," said a spokesperson for UN's children agency - Veera Mendonca, as reported by Reuters.
"We must invest now to secure girls’ rights to life and education, and reduce their exposure to violence and exploitation,” she said while releasing the report.
Bangladesh has approximately 38 million girls who were married before they turned 18, according to UN numbers. This is almost half of the country’s female population!
In 1970s, the rate of child marriage in Bangladesh stood at 90%, which has since then dropped to 51%.
Even though the situation has improved, the country still has the highest rate of underage marriages in South Asia.
According to law, the minimum age of marriage in the country is 18 for women and 21 for men.
During the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, 190 UN member states including Bangladesh pledged to end child marriage.
Owing to the shutdown of businesses and schools, risks of child marriages in the country have shot up. Due to the loss of income and closure of schools which may cause increased pressure at home, risks of child marriage have increased.
"Even during normal times married girls are over four times more likely to be out of school than unmarried girls”, the report said.