The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Coalition to End Child Marriage (Koalisi 18+) has urged the government to issue a government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) to stop child marriage to save the future of millions of Indonesian children.
Koalisi 18+ coordinator Supriyadi Widodo Eddyono said child marriage was one of most untouchable methods of operation of sexual violence against children.
He said that based on National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) data, in 2013 there were 263,285 cases of violence against women reported, including domestic violence against child wives.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) data show that 649 cases of violence against children occurred in Jakarta throughout 2015.
'With such a huge figure, the national emergency concerning violence against children must become the main focus of attention for the government,' said Supriyadi as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
The activist further said a married female adolescent was considered inferior to her spouse in their relations, especially if the spouse was much older.
Unfortunately, the condition of children in Indonesia has continued to worsen as it now ranks second among Southeast Asian countries with the highest number of child marriage.
A 2012 national census showed that one out of five female children in Indonesia married before the age of 18. It was also discovered that many maternal and infant deaths in the country were a result of child marriage.
'Based on the facts, Koalisi 18+ is calling on President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's administration to immediately respond to this emergency situation by issuing a Perppu to eliminate child marriage,' said Supriyadi.
Koalisi 18+, a social movement that aims to stop child marriage and the forced marriage of young people, filed a judicial review against Law No.1/1974 on marriage, specifically Article 7 (1), which sets the minimum age of marriage for females at 16.
In a hearing on June 18, 2015, the Constitutional Court rejected the review, saying there was no guarantee that increasing the minimum age of marriage to 18 would reduce divorce cases, alleviate health problems or minimize other social problems affecting women.
Supriyadi said there was an urgency to issue a Perppu to stop child marriage as violence against children in Indonesia was at an alarming level.
'The number of child marriages has also entered a dangerous state,' he said.
Supriyadi said a Perppu was needed due to the absence of a proper law that prevented child marriage from happening.
'The 1974 Marriage Law has become obsolete and is incompatible with today's generation,' said Supriyadi. (mas/ebf)