Delegate Name: Alekya Vudathu
Republic of Tunisia
Forest Hills Eastern
Child marriage is any marriage where one of the parties is under the age of 18. This ideology is heavily negative due to the possibility of early pregnancy, STDs, social isolation, career limitations, interruption of schooling, and more. However, some families view it as a benefit because they believe that marrying their young daughter up to an older man will help them increase her and her family’s social status and help her access more economic opportunities. Child marriage is most prevalent in South Asia and Africa.. In Africa, almost 40% of girls are married before their 18th birthday and annually 12 million girls are married before they turn 18. To alleviate this issue the UN has recognized that full consent in marriage is a human right and has the goal of ending child marriage by 2030 to protect the rights of these girls.
Although Africa has one of the highest percentages of child marriages, within the continent, the country Tunisia has a low rate of 2% making it one of the countries with the least child marriages. Simply put, child marriages are rarely practiced in Tunisia. The legal age of marriage is 18 years old for both men and women, although marriages of minors under this age may be permitted, subject to the consent of their mother and guardian, and special approval from the judge. By law, the judge is only permitted to grant early marriages in case of “grave reasons”, and this must be “in the interests of the spouses”. Child marriage is void under Article 21 of the code, although there are no penalties for those facilitating or knowingly entering into such marriages. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are fighting against inequality, protecting human rights, seeking gender equality, empowering all women and girls, and recognizing that gender inequality is a persistent reality and an obstacle to global progress. One of its new additions is to eliminate all harmful practices like eliminating child marriage (by 2030). This seems unattainable but the urge signals to the world how pressing this matter is and how child marriage is completely unacceptable. Despite the fact that Tunisia has a low rate of child marriages the more awareness there is, the better. Therefore if we could all discuss and come up with more outreach programs or organizations to stop/eliminate child marriages the greater the impact it will have.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the UN population fund (UNFPA) have partnered to launch a program that helps child marriage in 12 nations with the highest child marriage rates. These programs were created to help families communities and young people to increase their access to services and resources and simultaneously educate the families on the risk of endangering their child through child marriage. Hopefully, with these programs awareness of child marriage will be raised and people will realize why child marriage is more harmful than beneficial. While Tunisia doesn’t suffer from this problem but observes other countries in our country suffer we believe that we and the world will significantly benefit from more laws, programs, and regulations that are implemented.