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PRIORITISING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS: Child Marriage And School Dropout

By Wydiasari Lodu, EMpower Facilitator

On September 10th, EMpower team invited FAD Karangasem (Children’s regional Forum, Karangasem) to join us for a gathering with the parents and students of Bunga community to discuss children’s rights. This was our second EBPP school community visit responding to issues related to preventing school dropout and child marriage, both of which directly infringe upon the fundamental rights of children.

FAD outlined their organization’s mission: dedicated to safeguarding children’s rights and responsibilities, to provide a platform for children’s organizations to communicate; to provide opportunities for children’s participation; to provide opportunities for children to develop their talents, interests and abilities; and to provide a platform for children to compete and achieve their optimum potential.

In Bunga sub-village, EBPP students deal with gossip and bullying when they form friendships with the opposite gender. There is also a problem with early and premarital sex due to a local myth that says “Not getting married until the girl is pregnant” that misleads the youth into premarital sex and unwanted pregnancies. FAD Karangasem responded by emphasizing the negative impacts of child marriage and encouraging mutual support among students and parents to strongly disagree with the harmful myths prevalent in the community. Furthermore, FAD member drew attention to FAD’s Instagram forum for addressing bullying and mental health issues.

Child marriage and school dropout are pressing issues with far-reaching consequences. Together, we must prioritize education, challenge harmful traditions and break the cycle, thereby securing a bright future for children for generations to come.

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