Antara, Jakarta – Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) Bintang Puspayoga affirmed that the government will tighten the dispensation for marriage applications to reduce the number of child marriages.
"Child marriage should not happen again because it violates children's rights and also violates human rights. Currently, the government is also setting up a mechanism to tighten dispensation for marriage (applications). It will not be easy to obtain," she noted in a statement received on Saturday.
The minister also pointed to the several negative impacts of child marriages. It destroys the future of the child itself and will erode the nation's aspirations to create superior and competitive human resources.
"Marriage triggers high school dropout rates and from a health perspective, it is prone to maternal mortality, anemia, mental unpreparedness, and also malnutrition," she remarked.
From an economic standpoint, children, who get married at a young age, are oftentimes left with no choice but to work and get menial jobs with low wages. She cautioned that this condition would trigger extreme poverty in future.
The other aspect of concern is the physical and mental unpreparedness that can increase the likelihood of domestic violence.
Puspayoga also highlighted the child marriage dispensation case in Ponorogo District, East Java, which occurred due to pregnancy before marriage.
Until now, Ponorogo District still has a high number of child marriages. In 2020, there were 241 cases of child marriage dispensation, and the figure increased to 266 cases in 2021, though in 2022, such cases have decreased to 191.
"We appreciate the decline in cases of child marriage dispensation that shows all parties' efforts to prevent the increasing number of child marriages in Ponorogo," she stated.
In addition, the ministry has coordinated with the East Java PPPA Service and the Ponorogo PPPA Service to monitor child marriage dispensation cases in Ponorogo. The plan is to immediately coordinate with the Ponorogo Religious Court.
Moreover, the PPPA Ponorogo Service will work together to prepare a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Religious Court regarding recommendations, assistance, and education for prospective marriage dispensation applicants.