Between April and October last year, at least 13,886 children were married off in 21 districts of the country
A man has been jailed for 15 days in Chapainawabganj for marrying off his underage daughter.
Nachol Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Upazila Executive Magistrate Sabiha Sultana-led mobile court handed down the punishment for child marriage.
Mohbul Haq was taken to the UNO on Friday afternoon over the marriage of his 15-year-old daughter.
The court jailed him after he had admitted to his crime.
Mobile court sources said the girl would remain with her parents until she becomes an adult.
Child marriage in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage among South Asian countries. It is among the top 10 countries in the world with high underage marriage rates.
While the prevalence of child marriage has dropped from over 90% in 1970, it remains very high as 51% women who are currently aged 20-24 were married while they were still children, according to a Unicef report published last October.
As a result, the country is home to 38 million child brides who were married before their 18th birthday, including 13 million who married before the age of 15.
The Covid-19 pandemic now threatens to roll back progress to end child marriage. Between April and October last year during the pandemic, at least 13,886 children were married off in 21 districts when Bangladesh was grappling with Coronavirus in its initial stage, according to a survey.
Of the brides, 50.6% were aged between 16 and 17 years at the time of their marriage. Another 47.7% were between 13 and 15 years old. Around 1.7% of the girls were aged 10-12 when they were married off.
In its report, Unicef said Bangladesh would need to put in more efforts to bring change to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal target to end child marriage by 2030, and the national target to end child marriage by 2041.
Progress must be at least eight times faster than the rate of the past decade to meet the national target, and 17 times faster to meet the SDG target, it said.