© 2019 A joint effort by SUHAKAM & UNAM Youth. All rights reserved.

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CHAPTER I:
CHILD MARRIAGE

Children are not adults. They are not small adults.
They should be given the opportunity to learn, explore, play, have fun. Basically, to be children
.”
Pastor Ng Kok Kee

1/1

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), child marriage is defined as “a marriage of a girl or a boy before the age of 18” and refers to both formal marriages and informal unions in which children under the age of 18 live with a partner as if married.

In Malaysia, around 15,000* child marriages have been recorded between 2007 and 2017. This practice affects both girls and boys, in both urban and rural areas, across ethnic and religious groups and communities to this day*.

21% of young women
(aged 20 to 24)
were married as children

Approximately 650 million girls and women alive today were married before their 18th birthday

12 million girls under 18  years old are married each year

* Cited sources are referenced from Says.com and UNICEF.

Pushing for Progress

SUHAKAM’s Recommendation

Set the legal minimum age of marriage to 18 with no exceptions for all persons under all laws through Constitutional amendments.

SUHAKAM’s Current Work

In continuing its efforts to promote and protect the rights of all children, SUHAKAM is actively working on the establishment of an independent Children’s Commissioner that will specifically focus on the rights of the child and issues affecting all children in Malaysia, regardless of their status.

Pakatan Harapan Manifesto

Under the Special Commitment for Women, Commitment 4: Ensuring the legal system protects women’s rights and dignity, the government made an election promise to introduce a law that sets 18 as the minimum age of marriage. [1]

 

Sustainable Development Goals

Target 5.3 aims to “eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation” by 2030 [2].

* Cited sources are referenced from [1] and [2]

Want to learn more? Do also check out this video from R.AGE.