Child marriage is something found in all communities in Malaysia; it is also to be found in the Rohingya refugee community here.
Our community documentation on Child Marriage in the Rohingya Community in Penang sets out the many factors and issues related to child marriage.
It also sets out what is needed to tackle the issue, at both national and community level.
Putting this into practice at community level, we partnered with PS The Children to hold a series of workshop trainings for refugee community teams. One group were women; one group were men and one group were religious leaders. Each group followed four 2 hour workshop trainings covering a number of the issues pertinent to child marriage. Each group then produced an action plan for taking what they learnt back to their local communities and 'spreading the word'.
These community-based engagements are in progress. And thanks to the support of the Canadian High Commission, the women's team have been particularly active in arranging a number of sharings and talks with other women and men in their local communities, as well as taking the messages to teachers in Refugee Learning Centre. All still early stage, but great work is being done even if we know the issue of child marriage is not so easily 'solved'.
Watch this space.