In many nations, including Nigeria, child and forced marriage is a well-known and persistent human rights issue that primarily affects girls. Girls are deprived of their fundamental rights, freedom, and autonomy, and are subjected to physical and mental harm as a result of this cultural and traditional practice, which is frequently accompanied by a variety of forms of inequality and discrimination.
Because it frequently results in early motherhood, complications associated with pregnancy, and a lifetime of poverty and exploitation, the practice has serious implications for the health and development of both women and their children. It remains a significant obstacle to be overcome, despite numerous efforts by governments, NGOs, and international organizations to combat child and forced marriage.
This essay aims to investigate the legal framework, cultural influences, and human rights implications of the child and forced marriage issues in Nigeria.
Child and forced marriage is quite possibly of the most unavoidable common liberty infringement in Nigeria, both by and large and as of now. It is a social practice that is deeply ingrained in the culture of many communities in Nigeria.
It also violates children’s rights to health, education, freedom, and protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. The issue is still one of the most significant human rights issues that Nigerian children face today, despite the fact that the government largely ignores it.
In this exposition, we will analyze the legitimate structure, social practices, and effect of youngster and constrained marriage in Nigeria, while featuring the common freedoms infringement committed by the culprits and potential procedures for finishing this destructive practice.
Legal Framework: The 1999 Nigerian Constitution, which is the country’s supreme law and provides for the protection of children’s rights under the Children’s Rights Law of 2003, does not specifically address child marriage.
Girls must be 18 years old to marry under this law, while boys must be 21 years old. Additionally, it creates the “National Council for the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of the Child,” which will be in charge of putting into action programs and policies to safeguard children’s rights.
Nigeria is expected to uphold the international standards for protecting children’s rights because it has signed the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
However, these standards are frequently ignored, and the government has not done enough to stop child marriage and forced marriage. The government has frequently been reluctant to intervene, resulting in the violation of numerous children’s rights. In some instances, traditional and religious leaders play a significant role in promoting these harmful practices.
Cultural Practices: Child and forced marriage are deeply ingrained customs in many Nigerian cultures, particularly in the north, where they are prevalent. In some communities, it is considered essential to ensure that girls are married as soon as possible—preferably while they are still minors—in order to preserve family honor and lighten the burden of child care.
Despite the fact that the Quran forbids child marriage, some religious leaders use the holy book of Islam, the Quran, to justify this cultural practice. Religion is frequently used to reinforce this practice.
Additionally, families often marry off their daughters in order to obtain a bride price due to economic desperation and poverty.
Impact of Child and Forced Marriage: There is ample evidence of the negative effects that child and forced marriage have on the development of children and their human rights. It denies children their right to education, health, and physical and emotional well-being, and it frequently results in early motherhood, which can have long-term health effects on both mothers and their offspring.
Child and Forced Marriage: According to UNICEF, is another factor that contributes to the cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and gender inequality. This is because girls are frequently compelled to take on adult responsibilities like caring for children and cleaning the house, which reduces their opportunities for education and employment. Additionally, it raises the likelihood of violence, such as domestic violence, which can have a long-term negative impact on a girl’s mental and physical health.
Youngster and constrained marriage is viewed as a type of separation, as it denies young ladies their right to balance and independence, and supports hurtful orientation jobs and generalizations. Women and girls are also kept out of society by this practice because they are often denied their fundamental human rights, like the right to education, health care, and protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
The National Commission for Children was established in 2005 and the Child Rights Act was enacted in 2003 as part of the Nigerian government’s acknowledgement of the negative effects of child and forced marriage. Child marriage continues to be a significant issue in the nation, and the implementation of these laws has been slow and ineffective.
Besides, the Nigerian government has frequently been reprimanded for its inability to successfully address the hidden reasons for youngster and constrained marriage, like destitution, orientation imbalance, and the absence of admittance to instruction and work open doors for young ladies.
Human Rights Violations Child and forced marriage are blatant violations of children’s human rights, which include the right to life, health, education, liberty, and protection from torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. These infringement, which can adversely affect a young lady’s turn of events and possibilities, are many times executed by the kid’s folks, family members, and local area individuals, as well as by strict and customary pioneers who advance the training.
It is essential to keep in mind that the perpetrators of child and forced marriage are not limited to individuals alone; they may also include institutions such as religious organizations and the government, social establishments, and different entertainers that advance and approve the training.
In point of fact, patriarchal gender norms and the persistence of gender inequalities in society, which are deeply ingrained in Nigerian culture, religion, and traditions, frequently reinforce child and forced marriage.
There are four categories of human rights violations caused by child marriage and forced marriage: the right to life, the right to wellbeing, the right to schooling, and the right to independence from torment and brutal, cruel, and debasing treatment.
In general, child and forced marriage remain a persistent and complicated violation of human rights in Nigeria, with serious repercussions for equality, autonomy, and human development. The training opens young ladies to huge physical and mental damage, including higher paces of maternal mortality, early parenthood, and diminished open doors for instruction and strengthening.
The challenge remains breaking cultural and religious influences that continue to perpetuate this harmful practice, despite various efforts by governments, NGOs, and international organizations. To address this test, we should focus on the implementation of existing regulations and strategies, and the advancement of strengthening and balance for ladies and young ladies through schooling and work potential open doors, social portability, and expanded portrayal in dynamic cycles.