“Child marriage can deprive the rights of and opportunities for children to access quality education and get decent work to build a prosperous life," he remarked at the National Seminar and Declaration of the National Movement for the Maturity of Marriage to Improve the Quality of Indonesian Human Resources in Indonesia, here on Thursday.
He also urged all stakeholders to work towards reducing the incidence of child marriage, which has a negative impact on the quality of life of children.
He emphasized that the government through Law Number 16 of 2019 has raised the minimum age of marriage to 19 years.
"The minimum age of marriage is 19 years for women and men," he said.
At the age of 19, a person is considered physically and mentally mature to enter into a marriage and realize the goal of marriage without ending it in divorce, and produce healthy and quality offspring, he explained.
However, in reality, the prevalence of child marriage in Indonesia is still high at 11.2 percent, he noted.
"Indonesia ranks eight in the world and second in ASEAN in terms of child marriage," said Makarim.
The minister said the education sector can play an important role in eliminating child marriage and ensuring that children who are forced to marry can continue their studies.
"In Indonesia, child marriage is a multidimensional phenomenon involving structural and cultural factors, so this condition needs to be responded to by the education sector to form a public understanding of the importance of physical, mental, and financial readiness in building a happy family," he added.
Makarim also lauded the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) Ministry regarding the Declaration of the National Movement for the Maturity of Marriage to Improve the Quality of Indonesian Human Resources in Indonesia.
He said he considers the MoU as an effort to build strong synergy with all parties in preventing child marriage and improving the quality of the family in the best interests of Indonesian children. (INE)
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