The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of Madagascar under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Commending Madagascar’s project to digitise the birth register, Committee Experts asked about child marriage and inclusive education.
A Committee Expert praised Madagascar’s project with the World Bank regarding digitisation of the birth register, describing it as fairly good. The Expert noted the high rate of birth registration in Madagascar but expressed concern at the downward trend and regional disparities. One Committee Expert raised the issue of harmful traditional practices, focusing on child marriage, noting that the State party had put together a national strategy and campaign to decrease the child marriage rate in Madagascar from 41.2 per cent to 21 per cent, from 2018 to 2024. How would this goal be achieved? The Expert requested information on the ability of the courts to authorise an underage marriage if requested on “serious grounds”, asking what constituted “serious grounds” in terms of a child marriage.