New Delhi, Mar 13 : The government today raised concerns over prevalence of child marriages in the country which has shown an increasing trend in last three years. In her written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said that the National Crime Records Bureau data for three years from 2011 to 2013 shows an increasing trend in child marriages. (Read: Maneka Gandhi announces Rs 1 crore reward for improvement of sex ratio)

The minister said, 222 cases of child marriage was reported in 2013, 169 in 2012, while 2011 had recorded 113 such marriages in different parts of the country. “Government of India is concerned about the prevalence of child marriages in the country and put in place necessary legislation viz. Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 to tackle the problem,” Gandhi said.

Responding to another question, the Minister said, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has registered 31 complaints of exploitation and abuse of children in protection homes and child care institutions including orphanages between 2011 and 2015. Gandhi also said five complaints have been received in the ministry since 2012 regarding sexual exploitation of women inmates in Swadhar Homes and trafficking of women and children.