Child marriage is biggest contributor to high child mortality rate: Sehar Kamran

February 23, 2018

ISLAMABAD: During a debate in Senate, Senator Sehar Kamran while speaking on the point order in Senate spoke about the worsening child mortality rate in Pakistan.

She said according to the recent UNICEF Report, Pakistan has the worst child mortality rate, as a baby dies every second minute. She stated that this is matter of serious concern.

Senator Kamran further stated that one of reasons of child mortality are early child marriages. She said I moved a Child Marriage Restraint Bill in Senate, back in December 2017, which was passed by the Standing Committee, however, it was referred to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) with an assurance that the CII report will be sought in 3 weeks. She remarked that it was unfortunate that even after the passing of two months, the report is still pending.

Senator Sehar Kamran opined that child marriages are risking the future of our next generation as mental maturity, wisdom and knowledge are necessary for marriage. She said the perils of child marriage were even recognized by the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation in the Khartoum declaration which called to restrict child marriages.

She further said that many Muslim countries have restricted the practice of child marriage before 18 years of age. She added Pakistan is signatory to the UN convention that defines every person below the age of 18 as a child, and by not addressing this issue we are violating international law.

She requested Chairman Senate to ask CII for the earliest issuance of its report. NNI