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Podcast | 35mins

Child marriages spike in India amid the pandemic in 

AuthorSuno India
The United Nations Population Fund released a report in April this year titled “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage (https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/COVID-19_impact_brief_for_UNFPA_24_April_2020_1.pdf) ”. According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic would result in 13 million additional child marriages worldwide, over the next decade.  Media reports show a sharp increase in child marriages during the COVID-19  lockdown in states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra. Other states like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have also witnessed a sharp increase in the number of child marriages during the lockdown period.  To understand the spike in the number of child marriages amid the coronavirus pandemic, Kunika Balhotra, our Research & Communications Officer reached out to representatives of nonprofits working in child rights space- Prabhat Kumar from Save the Children (https://www.savethechildren.in/) who lead the Child Protection portfolio which measures and builds structures to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence affecting children and Kumar Nilendu from CRY (Child Rights & You) (https://www.cry.org/) who heads the program team for CRY in the Western Region i.e Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Chhattisgarh.  I also reached out to Mr BP Suryavanshi from Kalapandhari NGO (https://www.cry.org/projects/kalapandhari-magasvargiya-and-adivasi-gramin-vikas-sansthan) which is CRY’s partner organisation from the past 20 years in Maharashtra and the Concerned for Working Children which is a not-for-profit secular, democratic development agency based in Bangalore.
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The United Nations Population Fund released a report in April this year titled “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Family Planning and Ending Gender-based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage (https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/COVID-19_impact_brief_for_UNFPA_24_April_2020_1.pdf) ”. According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic would result in 13 million additional child marriages worldwide, over the next decade.  Media reports show a sharp increase in child marriages during the COVID-19  lockdown in states such as Karnataka and Maharashtra. Other states like Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have also witnessed a sharp increase in the number of child marriages during the lockdown period.  To understand the spike in the number of child marriages amid the coronavirus pandemic, Kunika Balhotra, our Research & Communications Officer reached out to representatives of nonprofits working in child rights space- Prabhat Kumar from Save the Children (https://www.savethechildren.in/) who lead the Child Protection portfolio which measures and builds structures to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence affecting children and Kumar Nilendu from CRY (Child Rights & You) (https://www.cry.org/) who heads the program team for CRY in the Western Region i.e Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Chhattisgarh.  I also reached out to Mr BP Suryavanshi from Kalapandhari NGO (https://www.cry.org/projects/kalapandhari-magasvargiya-and-adivasi-gramin-vikas-sansthan) which is CRY’s partner organisation from the past 20 years in Maharashtra and the Concerned for Working Children which is a not-for-profit secular, democratic development agency based in Bangalore.