NEW DELHI — The Right to Education (RTE) must be extended to all students up to the age of 18 years to prevent child marriage, a report prepared by the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) core group on child marriage has recommended to the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) this week.
This recommendation is based on a research titled ‘India Child Marriage and teenage pregnancy’ released on Tuesday by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which shows a strong correlation between a girl child’s education level and age of marriage, with better education levels showing lesser likelihood of her being married early, the Indian Express reported.
This report has based its findings on an analysis of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 data (2015-16) for determining prevalence of child marriage among girls in the 15-19 years age group.
NHRC Secretary General Ambuj Sharma said, “Necessary step to prevent early marriage is to make education free and compulsory for all children up to the age of 18 years.Accordingly, the Right to Education Act must be amended so that it is applicable up to Class 14 instead of Class 8 right now.”
The report, compiled by NCPCR and the NGO Young Lives India, found that the completion rate of secondary schooling is considerably higher among unmarried girls aged 15-19 years in almost all states, the Times of India reported.