Recently I came across this pdf document from an NGO "Girls not Brides". Apparently they are working to stop or reduce child and forced marriages but in this article one can see that how they are hideously promoting child sex and arguing against the age of consent laws.
This NGO is also working in Pakistan with other partners.
On one hand they are against child marriage while on the other they are promoting child sex aka pedophiliaWhile there is increasing consensus globally that girls should not be forced into marriage as children, there is far less agreement about when young people should be allowed to have sex and at what age they are able to make an informed choice about whether to engage ina consensual sexual relationship.In recent years, an increasing number of governments have acted to end child marriage and to set the legal age of marriage at 18 years of age. These moves have sometimes been accompanied by proposals to increase the age of sexual consent to 18, particularly in contexts where sex outside marriage is considered taboo. At the Girls Not Brides Global Meeting in June 2018, members discussed the potential impact that such moves might have on our shared dream of a world in which girls and women enjoy equal status with boys and men, and are able to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives. The discussion exposed some discomfort about adolescent sexual activity among members, but there appeared to be agreement from the diverse meeting participants that the health,rights and wellbeing of adolescents should be always be prioritised.A new article in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health(3 December 2018), authored by global adolescent health experts Dr. Suzanne Petroni, Dr. Madhumita Das and Dr. Susan Sawyer,1 sheds additional light on this discussion, and provides some important food for thought for the Girls Not Brides community. In short, the article provides a compelling case that the impact of decisions to marry and to have sex are different, and therefore, the minimum ages do not need to be aligned. AGE OF MARRIAGE VS. AGE OF SEXUAL CONSENTPhoto: Jessica Lea/Department for International Development
Below, we highlight some of the key points addressed in the article:• It is critical to ensure that children and adolescents are protected from sexual abuse, coercion and exploitation, whether this takes place within or outside of marriage. Children and adolescents might not always have the knowledge, means, or power to give their genuine and fully informed consent to sex, and thus can be pressured or coerced to engage in sexual activity. Non-consensual sex at any age should be criminalised.
• Laws that promote a high age of sexual consent are often used to curb adolescents’ and women’s agency. Although both girls and boys face consequences of a high age of sexual consent, efforts to conflate age at marriage with age of sexual consent can be particularly harmful forgirls, as they can deny them the right to make decisions about whether, when, and with whomto have sex. They can also stigmatise or criminalise individuals who have sex before marriage and increase barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services.
• The growing evidence indicates that the stigma around adolescents engaging in sexual activity prior to marriage may actually be contributing to child marriage. In some societies, parents’ desire to preserve their daughters’ “sexual purity” prior to marriage may drive early marriage. In many societies, adolescents may feel the only way they can have sex—and access sexual and reproductive health information and services—is by being married, which again, may drive early marriage.
A lack of clarity around laws and policies pertaining to age of marriage and age of consent to sex can be confusing to health service providers. This can potentially make them more conservative, reducing adolescents’ access to the education, information and services they need to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.
• Adolescents have rights as well as evolving capacities to make decisions. The Convention on the Rights of the Childrecommends the need for minimum ages of sexual consent, marriage and medical consent that “closely reflect recognition of the status of human beings under the ages of 18 asrights holders in accordance with their evolving capacity age and maturity.” These include rights in relation to sexual activity and the right to be informed about sexual and reproductive health.
• The concept of the evolving capacities of adolescents reflects a balance between recognising children as active agents in their own lives, while also being entitled to protection in accordance with their relative immaturity and youth. There is no single age at which maturity or agency occurs. The capacity to take responsibility for decisions affecting one’s life can happen at different ages for children and adolescents with diverse life experiences.
Marriage is a potentially life-long legal contract with significant legal obligations and responsibilities. Child marriage is associated with a number of adverse consequences for girls.2 These include reduced educational attainment, higher rates of early pregnancy, increased experience of intimate-partner violence, increased prevalence of depression, and poor economic opportunities, among others. Divorce is banned or discouraged in many countries, and where it is not, married children may not be legally permitted to accesslegal services to seek a divorce.
• At leasthalf of all adolescents globally have reported having had sex before the age of 18. Acknowledging that adolescents have sex allows them to gain the information, knowledge and tools to protect themselves. With appropriate information and knowledge, these adolescents will bebetter able to understand their rights and provide consent to have sex with their partner of choice when they are ready, and without punitive consequences for doing so.
• Efforts to prevent adolescents from engaging in sexual intercourse have not been proven effective. To the contrary, the evidence affirmsthat providing adolescents with the skills, information, and services they need to say “yes” or “no” to sex, and to be able to negotiate safer sex, can help to prevent unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions and sexually transmitted infections. • Ensuring that all adolescents have access to developmentally appropriate, accurate, andnon-judgmental sexual and reproductivehealth information and services, includingrights-based comprehensive sexuality education, is crucial to ensuring their health and wellbeing, regardless of the age of consent to sex.
• Recommendations to seta high minimum age of sexual consent without close-in-age3 exemptions are extremely problematic, especially if there are associated criminal penalties. While the intent may be protective, establishing such an age barrier effectively criminalises a biologically normal behaviourin which large numbers of adolescents are engaged. The article concludes by celebrating that increased attention to the harms of child marriage has contributed significantly towards ending this harmful practice, including through raising the legal age of marriage to 18. While these changes are welcomed, however, the authors note that they must be accompanied by a perspective that “explicitly respects and protects adolescents’ rights to express their sexuality without fear of criminal consequences, and to access sexual and reproductive health information and services in line with their needs.”
This NGO is also working in Pakistan with other partners.