The problem of child marriages is a sad reality in Malawi and that the problems affect about 33 percent of the young women between the age of 15 and 19 who are in some form of permanent union. This exposes these women to a plethora of human rights violations. Among the rights which are compromised by child marriages are: life, human dignity, health, education, and development. In extreme cases, child marriages also expose girls to various forms of servitude, sexual abuse, and exploitation.

The Malawi government recognize child marriages as a danger to the physical and reproductive health of the child, with girls under the age of 18 at a much higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries such as fistulas. As such it has reform its Constitution on the age of the child from 16 to 18 and remove parent powers for granting any concept to marriages of any person below the age of 18 and amended the Penal Code that now define a child as all persons below 18 years. Recently Government also launched a Strategic Plan to provide leadership, guidance and oversight in national efforts of eliminating the problem of child marriages in Malawi. The Plan articulates the key strategies employed in this important undertaking, the management structure and roles of stakeholders in implementing the Plan in the next five years. Eye of the Child is now supporting the implementation of the Plan of action.

Related Articles

Children with Disabilities

The Girl Child