‘Colombo Declaration’ agrees Age of Marriage be 18 years in South Asia

Friday, 6 September 2019

Parliamentarians who took part in the two day summit on Child Rights in South Asia have principally agreed that the age of marriage for an individual should be a minimum of 18 years in the South Asian region and that the general law of the country should be supreme.The Colombo Declaration issued after the two days summit also said that South Asia parliamentarians pledge that their commitment to ensure that every child in respective countries has every right fulfilled.

‘We will do so through the powers vested in us, as representatives of the people, including children, to create real and lasting change, allocate resources, establish policy directions, and debate, shape, and enforce laws that protect children the Colombo Declaration said.South Asian Parliamentarians further pledged, to influence policies, programmes and budgets in favour of the most marginalized and excluded children, to ensure that no child is left behind.

The full text of the declaration signed by the leaders South Asian Parliamentarian contingence including India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka in front of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya reads as follow: On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), we, the undersigned Parliamentarians, are extremely encouraged by the way in which children’s lives have been transformed over the past three decades. The Convention has inspired governments in our countries to change laws and policies and make investments so that more children finally get many of the rights enshrined in the UNCRC.

This occasion also urges us to reflect on the fact that millions of children continue to suffer violations of their rights when they are denied adequate healthcare, nutrition, education and protection from violence. Still, childhoods are cut short when children are subjected to discrimination, are forced to leave school, do hazardous adult work, get married, suffer online abuse and exploitation, live through conflict and violence, or are in conflict with the law