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Indonesia

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
1%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
14%

* References

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)

Youth activists Suci, Ria and Holida mounted a campaign against child marriage in their village in Lombok. Now they are planning a film to take their message to villages across Indonesia. Credit: Graham Crouch/Girls Not Brides.

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
1%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
14%

* References

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

14% of girls in Indonesia are married before the age of 18 and 1% are married before their 15th birthday.

According to UNICEF, Indonesia has the eighth highest absolute number of child brides in the world – 1,459,000.

Data from Indonesia’s 2010 Population Census and National Socioeconomic Survey shows that child marriage is most prevalent in West Sulawesi and South Kalimantan, and Central Java, East Java and South Kalimantan districts.

According to Indonesia’s National Socioeconomic Survey, a national sample of about 200,000 households, marriage of girls under the age of 15 and 16 has shown the largest decline since 2008, whereas marriage among girls aged 16 and 17 has not changed significantly.

UNICEF estimates that child marriage cost Indonesia 171,689,071 Indonesian rupiahs in 2014.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In Indonesia, child marriage is also driven by:

What has this country committed to?

Indonesia has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. During its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum, the government stated that the elimination of child marriage is important in reducing risks to a woman’s health, in protecting her human rights and in preventing maternal mortalities.

Indonesia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

Indonesia has committed to the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Violence against Children (2013), which acknowledges the importance of strengthening ASEAN efforts to protect children from all forms of violence, including early marriage.

During its 2017 Universal Periodic Review, Indonesia accepted recommendations to take all measures necessary to end child marriage.

In 2012 the CEDAW Committee recommended that the government undertake awareness-raising activities throughout the country on the negative effects of child marriage.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

During Indonesia’s 2017 Universal Periodic Review, the government announced that it was developing a draft National Action Plan on Eliminating Child Marriage.

The National Strategy for the Elimination of Violence Against Children (2016-2020) highlights key priorities for ending child marriage, including:

  • Conducting in-depth analysis into the risks and impacts of child marriage
  • Increasing girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services and life skills training in areas with high child marriage rates
  • Developing behaviour change strategies to eliminate child marriage and shift social norms
  • Strengthening coordination and linkages between efforts to end gender-based violence and violence against children.

In June 2015, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court rejected a petition to end child marriage by an 8-to-1 vote. It was a setback, but the ruling also energized many to push for the end of child marriage. Yohana Yembise, the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection, frequently spoke out against the court’s ruling. She also urged the parliament to amend the Marriage Law 1974.

In April 2018 President Jokowi committed to ending child marriage. He said two ministries, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, were preparing a presidential decree to amend the 1974 Marriage Law.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

The Marriage Law 1974 permits women and men to marry at 21 but allows girls to marry at 16 and boys to marry at 19 with parental permission. Parents can also ask religious courts or local officials to authorise marriages of girls even earlier, with no minimum age in such cases.

Source

ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children, The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Elimination of Violence against Children in ASEAN, 2013, (accessed February 2018)

Government of Indonesia, Survei Sosial Ekonomi Nasional 2013 Kor Gabungan, 2014, (accessed April 2018)

Human Rights Watch, Indonesian President Jokowi to Ban Child Marriage, (accessed May 2018)

Plan International, Getting the Evidence: Asia Child Marriage Initiative, 2015, (accessed March 2018)

Republic of Indonesia, National Strategy, Elimination of Violence Against Children 2016-2020, 2015, (accessed March 2018)

Republic of Indonesia, Voluntary National Review, ‘Eradicating Poverty and Promoting Prosperity in a Changing World’, 2017, (accessed March 2018)

UNICEF, Child Marriage in Indonesia: Progress on Pause, 2016, (accessed March 2018)

UNICEF, Cost of Inaction: Child and Adolescent Marriage in Indonesia, 2015, (accessed April 2018)

UNICEF, SDG Baseline Report on Children in Indonesia, 2017, (accessed March 2018)

UN CEDAW, Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, 2012, p.15, (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Draft report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Indonesia, Unedited, 2017, (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Indonesia, 2017, p.16, (accessed March 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)