Father's bid to marry off minor foiled in Thakurgaon

Officials of the local administration have foiled a bid to marry off a minor girl in Thakurgaon's Ranishankail upazila, reports UNB.

The family had fixed the marriage of a ninth grader in Bhangbari on Friday, officials said.

After being alerted by local people, a team from the local administration, led by upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Sohel Sultan Julker Nain Kabir, reached the house of the girl and stopped the marriage.

Later, a mobile court fined the girl's father Tk 5,000 for violating the government’s Covid directive by arranging the marriage.

Child marriage in Bangladesh

Between April and October last year, at least 13,886 children were married off in 21 districts when Bangladesh was grappling with coronavirus in its initial stage, according to a survey.

An average of 1.7 child marriages took place a day during this period.

Of the child brides, 5,089 said they had experienced unexpected pregnancy, according to the survey conducted by Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).

They findings were unveiled at a webinar titled “Rapid Analysis of Child Marriage situation: Coronavirus period 2020” in association with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF and Plan International.

Of the child brides, 50.6 per cent were aged between 16 and 17 years at the time of their marriage. Another 47.7 per cent were between 13 and 15 years old.

A UNICEF report released in October last year noted that despite significant progress in recent years, Bangladesh has the highest prevalence of child marriage in South Asia and ranks among 10 countries in the world with the highest levels.

It called for accelerated action to end child marriages in Bangladesh by 2030.