Restriction on Child Marriage – An International Perspective with Implementation in India
Volume III, Issue III, 2020
Child marriage is a gross violation of human rights. It destroys the development of women in society. Women are barred from their fundamental right to get an education, employment and their right to marry with full and free consent. They are always considered inferior to men and therefore, it is customarily believed that women should always obey the instructions of men. Various international treaties, conventions like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women provide that marriage should be done with the free and full consent of both men and women. Article 253 of the Indian Constitution provides the Indian Parliament with the power to enact the international treaties into legislations to enforce them. The Indian Parliament enacted the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929, which restricted the marriage of children before the legal age, but it was toothless legislation. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955,provided the legal requirement for marriage but did not strictly prohibit child marriage. Thus, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 was enacted to repeal the 1929 Act providing strict rules to prevent child marriage. However, the Indian Judiciary found that the 2006 Act also had various loopholes which still did not restrain child marriage.
Keywords: Child Marriage, Forced Marriage, International Treaties, Indian Legislations.