JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian government is intensifying socialization efforts to end the practice of child marriages in the country.
Indonesian Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection I Gusti Bintang Puspayoga urged all stakeholders improve measures to stop the practice of child marriage in Indonesia while noting that her ministry cannot do it alone.
The government has listed reducing the number of child marriages in the country as one of the priority issues to tackle for the 2020–2024 period.
“We can only achieve this goal by working together involving the central government, regional government, non-governmental organizations, business community, schools, families, and social groups. We must all come together to better socialize and prevent child marriages.”
The rate of child marriage in Indonesia grew during the coronavirus pandemic, Bintang said, noting that this helps explain the worrying statistics in the number of children dropping out of schools.
A report from the Indonesian Religious Court listed nearly 34,000 requests for marriage dispensation of child brides under the age of 19 between January and June 2020.
“This should be worrying for all of us. We must keep working to reduce the number of marriages among children.”
The minister also emphasized the Indonesian government’s commitment to protecting its youths during the coronavirus pandemic especially with regards access to education.
An example of the dedication is through the government’s decision to prioritize public health and child safety in the learning process by accommodating online and in-class learning.
In that context, Bintang reminded parents to opt for online learning whenever possible for their children.
“Students are not required to conduct in-class learning thus there is no requirement from the parents to feel concerned or uncomfortable about their children having to go to school. Classes are still being conducted online.”
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