Jakarta (ANTARA) - Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Bintang Puspayoga has highlighted that efforts to prevent child marriage must be carried out by involving multiple parties, including non-governmental organizations, mass media, academicians, community leaders, religious leaders, and the community.

"Efforts to prevent child marriage that we are carrying out ahead must be more structured, holistic, and integrative," she said at the launch of a marriage dispensation study report here on Monday.

Puspayoga noted that bringing down the incidence of child marriage is one of the five women and children-related priority issues for 2019–2024, as mandated by President Joko Widodo.

"However, a number of efforts that have been made to eradicate child marriage practices are, in fact, not yet enough," she added.

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She said that Law Number 16 of 2019 concerning amendments to Law Number 1 of 1974 concerning Marriage, which sets the minimum age for marriage at 19 years, has not necessarily been able to end child marriage.

There are even regulations that have become a loophole and worsened the complexity of child marriage prevention, such as Supreme Court Regulation Number 5 of 2019 concerning Guidelines for Judging Marriage Dispensation Applications.

The high incidence of child marriage has become a big threat to Indonesian children as the practice of child marriage can put women's reproductive health at risk.

It may also contribute to domestic violence, divorce, children dropping out of school, maternal mortality, infant mortality, an increase in stunting cases, and even a rise in the chances of poverty.

Puspayoga expressed the hope that many parties would synergize and collaborate in efforts to prevent child marriage to achieve the Child-Friendly Indonesia by 2030 and the Golden Indonesia goal by 2045 targets.

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Translator: Anita Permata, Raka Adji
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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