ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Child Marriages in Haryana

Challenges in Implementing PCMA, 2006

Child marriage continues to prevail in Haryana despite preventive laws. The state government’s policy of conditional cash transfers aimed at eliminating child marriage has failed in incentivising parents to not get their daughters married off before they turn 18. The role of child marriage protection officers who have been given the power to prevent and prosecute solemnisation of child marriages, and create awareness on the issue is examined. In order to draft a macro-level policy pertaining to child marriages, it is important to understand the gaps in the implementation of the existing policies along with grassroots realities and the challenges of implementing them.


The authors are grateful to Vedika Inamdar for her assistance to moderate the language and improve the manuscript significantly.

The occurrence of child marriages in South Asia is a widespread phenomenon. Out of 60 million marriages that include girls under the age of 18, approximately 31 million are in South Asia alone. Not only is it a grave violation of child rights, but it also directly has an impact on other aspects of a child’s overall well-being, especially of young girls, such as their education, health, and psychological well-being (Nour 2006). Child marriage is part of the patriarchal traditions that reduce the role of young girls to wives and mothers to their maternal bodies and reduce their experiences of being (Stith 2015).

In India, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (PCMA) came into effect in November 2007 replacing the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929. The PCMA defines child marriage as a marriage in which either of the contracting parties is a child. Furthermore, a child is defined as a person who, if male, has not completed 21 years of age and, if female, has not completed 18 years of age (PCMA 2006). This act mandates state governments to establish structures including that of child marriage prohibition officers who are empowered to prevent child marriages.

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Updated On : 15th Jul, 2020
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