A joint report by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and the charity Young Lives has revealed that the number of child brides in India’s urban areas – including in some urban districts of Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka – are on the rise.

The study, which relies on Census 2011 data, found that even though the number has declined by 0.7% in rural areas since 2001, there has been a rise of 0.3% in India’s cities and towns, challenging the commonly held belief that the practice of child marriage is largely prevalent in the country’s rural areas.

According to a Thompson Reuters Foundation report, the study is the first to break down census data on child marriage and claims that nearly one in four girls in rural areas and one in five in urban areas were married before the age of 18.

Renu Singh, the country director of Young Lives, told Reuters that it was unexpected that” in the ten to 14 age group, there are still large numbers of girls being married in urban areas. One was hoping and thinking that would not exist at all.”

Despite the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 making it illegal for men under 21 and women under 18 to marry, India ranks among the top ten countries with the highest rate of child marriage alongside Niger, Guinea, South Sudan, Chad and Burkina Faso.

Source: THE WIRE (India)

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