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Friday, June 2, 2023

In Madagascar, the debate on forced marriages put on the table

In 2007, Madagascar set the marriage age at 18 for both girls and boys. But in fact, out of a global population of 28 million, Unicef ​​estimates that 3.5 million young Malagasy women marry before the age of 18. A million of them would be married before their 15th birthday. Friday, the French Institute of Madagascar organized a great debate around this phenomenon of society.

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With our correspondent in Antananarivo, Sarah Tetaud

To fight against forced marriage, the Big Island adopted in 2015 a very repressive law from the African continent the law on the fight against trafficking in human beings “Explains one of the speakers in the debate, Rose de Lune Rejojoarisoa, juvenile judge and member of the committee for the reform of texts relating to children’s rights.She punishes forced marriage, of which that of a child constitutes an aggravating circumstance. This law also punishes accomplices more severely – those who proposed the child, those who incited the marriage, contributed to constituting the financing, etc. – than the parents. “, she adds.

Changing mindsets »

Accomplices who risk today between 1 and 10 years in prison. Sanctions, however, are rarely applied. To move the lines, Master Olivia Rajerison, activist for children’s rights, believes that the country must ” seize what works ” And ” change mentalities “.

For this, one thing she believes in, “ it’s the impact of social networks on society and this great mass awareness to be able to make sure that these parents do not think of forced marriage as an economic solution to get out of it or, quite simply, as a follow-up traditions, she explains. And to add: It is now necessary to take advantage of the rise of social networks to be able to popularize, to make the texts accessible, intelligible, understandable to all ” because ” we need an educated, fulfilled population. »

Since the pandemic, forced marriages have exploded on the island, due to the impoverishment of the population and no longer only concern the bush. In the capital, many cases have been recorded in the past two years.

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