The Jakarta Post
The government launched on Sunday a movement against child marriage in West Nusa Tenggara as part of an effort to end the practice, which remains rampant across the archipelago.
The Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry and the West Nusa Tenggara government signed a joint declaration at the West Nusa Tenggara Cultural Park in Mataram on Sunday.
The declaration was made as Indonesia’s child marriage status was set at "emergency," the children's development deputy at the ministry, Leny Nurhayanti Rosalin, said. The average rate of child marriage in the country stood at 17 percent, 2016 data from the ministry show.
Furthermore, Indonesia is ranked seventh in the world and second in ASEAN after Cambodia in recorded cases of child marriage.
“We signed the declaration in West Nusa Tenggara because the province was among provinces with the highest rates of child marriage,” Lenny said, adding that East Java, West Java, Central Java and South Sulawesi also had high rates.
The movement was needed as the government aimed to promote awareness to end the practice as child marriage contributed to violence and discrimination toward children and took away children's right to live a healthy life and develop in accordance to their age, Lenny said.
Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) secretary-general Dian Kartika Sari said a campaign would be launched on social media to encourage students to become involved in the cause. (rin)