India Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy Based on NFHS 4 (2015-16)

Protap Mukherjee
Child rights
Country report

According to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, any girl married below 18 years of age and any boy married before 21 years, is considered a “child marriage”, which is a cognizable offence. While child marriage has long term negative consequences for both boys and girls in terms of educational outcomes as well as transitions to the labour market and family formation - the adverse effect of child marriage on girls is grave. This includes early pregnancy, maternal and neonatal mortality, educational setbacks, lower employment prospects, exposure to violence and abuse - leading to negative physical and psychological outcomes. Besides the risk of early childbearing many child brides have little agency within their marital households.