Child Rights Coalition Malaysia (CRCM), a coalition of child rights NGOs, has released an official statement regarding its stance on child marriage – sparked by two recent news of a 41-year-old man marrying an 11-year-old girl and a 44-year-old man marrying a 15-year-old Kelantanese girl. It states: “We find this situation unacceptable and implore the government to urgently step in and take concrete actions towards raising the age of marriage to 18 years and do a thorough review of the child protection system in Malaysia.”
The press release goes on to state the reasons why child marriages are so detrimental to the child as their focus is quickly thrust away from receiving proper education to domestic duties and parenthood – limiting their future prospects. Not to mention, due to their bodies being underdeveloped, there is a very high risk of child birth complications – child brides are also often victims of domestic violence and sexually transmitted diseases. Being that they do not have income of their own, they are also financially dependent on their husbands – making it much more difficult for them to potentially leave their marriage in the future.