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Project report

Ending early marriage, Indonesia Indonesia , RUN BY: Plan International Australia | STATUS: COMPLETED

Students from several junior and senior high schools in Dompu are signing the petition to stop child marriage

This project is 100% Funded



AUD 10,000

Raised from 4,272 people

Child marriage is prevalent throughout Indonesia, affecting both girls and boys. This project is helping to eradicate the harmful practice of child marriage through raising awareness, changing behaviour and empowering communities with the knowledge and tools needed to resist child marriage.

Statistics from 2008 reveal that 36.6% of Indonesian marriages involve people aged 16 and under.

Indonesia’s Marriage Law (1974) sets the minimum legal age for marriage at 19 for males and 16 for females. However, it is possible and legal to marry before 16 with an official dispensation from the Religious Court or a government officer – a practice that contradicts the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which defines child marriage as the marriage of those under 18.

Recognising that child marriage is a complex and culturally ingrained issue, Plan aims to reduce incidence of child marriage and enhance gender equality at the local community level in Indonesia. This is being achieved through helping people understand the risks and negative impacts of child marriage, and through linking the project with district and national level government policy changes.

To date, we have conducted research into the causes and implications of child marriage and examined the existing legal framework and local government initiatives to prevent and deal with child marriage cases. We have also organised a range of awareness raising and behavior change programs in local communities in the districts of Dompu and Grobogan, working with village officials, children’s councils, local secondary schools and local community-based organisations.

In 2013 we have:

  • established Child Marriage Prevention Forums in 14 villages in Dompu district with 30 adolescent peer facilitators;
  • assisted 14 villages to develop action plans to prevent child marriages;
  • conducted  awareness-raising meetings with government officials, sub-district officers, judges from religious courts, children’s forums, and civil society organizations;
  • conducted 33 seminars for 1,604 girls, boys (659 girls and 388 boys) and community members in 16 villages to increase their awareness and knowledge about the negative impacts of child marriage, and adolescent sexual and reproductive health issues;
  • organised awareness raising campaigns in the districts of Dompu and Grobogan, involving government and community groups;
  • Carried out activities to identify and mitigate the practice of age-falsification in village-level marriage registration.

Challenges in delaying Child Marriage: Story of Amir  

After meeting on recording and reporting of child marriage cases that was conducted by Plan Indonesia Dompu district in June 2012, the newly elected village chief of Tembalae, Amir, committed to not falsify the age of couples who want to get married. His commitment was followed by the entire village officials of Tembalae.

Just a few months after this village chief started his term (and after attending Plan’s training), he faced a few temptations to falsify the age of children whose parents wanted them to get married. He refused to do so and directed people to ask for dispensation to the District Religious Court (a required step of case escalation to a more senior government institution).

As a result, from March to September 2012 there were two cases of child marriage that have been proposed for dispensation to District Religious Court of Dompu. This is a great step forward in changing local practices, because previously village officials would practice age falsification.

How was it this funded?

Thanks to hundreds of tiny donations from these online businesses and their customers.

World Nomads Canada
***World Nomads UK
Plan International Australia

Put simply, we’re the charity for girls’ equality.

We tackle the root causes of poverty, support communities through crises, campaign for gender equality, and help governments do what’s right for children and particularly for girls. We are a secular organisation with no religious or political affiliations.We believe a better world is possible. An equal world; a world where all children can live happy and healthy lives, and where girls can take their rightful place as equals.

Visit: plan.org.au