Then again

A UN Human Rights Council resolution against child marriage is only that, but it is a start. But not everyone even agreed to that much. Want to know one country that refused? India. Yes, the world’s largest secular democracy said No.

India, the world’s child marriage capital, has once again failed its under-age brides.

The country has refused to sign the first-ever global resolution on early and forced marriage of children led by the UN.

The resolution was supported by a cross-regional group of over 107 countries, including almost all countries with high rates of child marriage—Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Chad, Guatemala, Honduras and Yemen.

Almost all? That doesn’t look like almost all to me. Nowhere near almost all.

Brides Not Wives provided the list:

The States presenting the resolution were: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Armenia, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chad, Congo, Cuba, Czech Republic, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, DRC, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Hungary, Honduras, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Maldives, Montenegro, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uganda, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia. 

Missing? Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Mali, Algeria to name a few.

The Centre for Reproductive Rights says governments in the South Asia region have failed to enact and enforce adequate laws that prohibit child marriage.

“The practice persists with impunity. In South Asia, 46% of women between ages 20-24 report having been married before age 18 in 2010. This translated to 24.4 million women in the region. Estimates project that from 2010 to 2030, 130 million more girls in the region will be married.”

“Child marriage does not constitute a single rights violation – rather, every instance of child marriage triggers a continuum of violations that continues throughout a girl’s life. Child marriage endangers the survival and well-being of women and girls by exposing them to forced initiation into sex and sexual violence as well as to early, unplanned and frequent pregnancies. Further, women and girls married as children are often denied educational opportunities, are isolated from society and face a lifetime of economic dependence,” the Centre said.

And so far there’s not even official government-level agreement that that’s a bad thing.