India's arrest rate in child marriage cases was extremely poor at 10 per cent, and at least 96 per cent of such cases were pending trial across the country by the end of 2021. The data has been revealed by the Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation (KSCF), which held a state-level consultation with Haryana's women and child development department on October 4.
The KSCF consulted ahead of its "Child Marriage Free India" campaign, with a total of 1,49,404 crimes (409 cases per day) against children recorded in India in 2021, including 5,700 (4 per cent) from Haryana.
Additionally, at the frontlines of this nationwide movement, which will be launched on October 16, will be 50,000 women from 10,000 villages who will pledge to combat the threat of child marriage. The foundation said that it remains grossly unreported for a range of reasons.
NFHS Survey Reports
The fifth National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) was conducted in two phases from 2019 to 2021 because of COVID-19. The national questionnaire survey included nearly 6.37 lakh households, including over 7.24 lakh women and 1.02 lakh men. The report provides information on underage marriage among both men and women, reported Hindustan Times.
According to the survey, 23.3 per cent of women married before reaching the legal age of 18 years, while 17.7 per cent were men. This means that at the national level, more than one in every five women surveyed married before reaching the legal age of 18.
Significant Increase In Cases In The Last 11 Years
Based on The National Crime Records Bureau's (NCRB) CII report, the number of Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 (PCM) cases registered will surpass 1000 for the first time in 2021. The number of cases registered in 2021 was 1050, a 34 per cent increase over 2020.
While in 2019, the number of cases increased by nearly 50 per cent in 2020 and more than doubled in 2021. Since 2011, the number of cases registered under the PCM Act has gradually increased, and the reported cases increased nine times between 2011 and 2021. The increase could be due to better reporting of such cases, an increase in cases, or both.
Also Read: President Draupadi Murmu Launches 'herSTART' Initiative For Women Entrepreneurs In Gujarat