16 Mar New publication: ‘Child marriage in a village in West Java (Indonesia)’
Article by Hoko Horii (KITLV/Leiden University) and Mies Grijns (Leiden University): ‘Child marriage in a village in West Java (Indonesia): Compromises between legal obligations and religious concerns’.
This article addresses the dilemmas and compromises in legal practice around the issue of child marriage in Indonesia. Although the government set development goals that include ending child marriage and complying with human rights standard, it is facing considerable resistance. We researched the state legal system and law in practice to understand this resistance, finding that: (1) law-making in family law involves conflict between progressive and conservative ideas; (2) consequently there is friction within current family law and laws regarding human rights; (3) judges use their discretion to achieve compromises between state laws and local norms; and (4) state law is creatively interpreted and applied at village level. The resistance at all these levels, arising from the religious concerns of conservative Muslims in a rapidly modernizing Indonesian society, is a formidable obstacle for the government to achieve its development goals. Adolescent sexuality is at the heart of these tensions.
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