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Story Publication logo August 29, 2022

Children Who Are Married Off Early (bahasa Indonesia)

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The food estate project in Kalimantan, which was revived to respond to the crisis since the Covid-19...

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This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit Kompas. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.



A teenage married couple, a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, from Kalumpang Village, Mantangai Subdistrict, Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan, took their vows. Early marriage is used as a shortcut to escape poverty, but it perpetuates suffering. Image by Ahmad Arif/Kompas. Indonesia, 2022.

The ban on farming has led to structural poverty. Children drop out of school and early marriage is seen as a way out. It only adds to the misery.

When fields were no longer allowed to be cultivated, Dayak Ngaju farmers in Central Kalimantan fell into poverty. Children dropped out of school and early marriage was used as a way out. However, it turns out that it only perpetuates poverty, even deepening tragedy.

One night, July 19, 2022, a pair of teenagers sat on the floor of a wooden stilt house on the banks of the Kapuas River. They sat facing each other, witnessed by their families and the headman, to take their consent.

The groom was 17 years old, a primary school graduate who now works as an illegal gold miner. Meanwhile, the bride is only 15 years old, a junior high school dropout. The two are neighbours, both born and raised in Kalumpang village, Mantangai sub-district, Kapuas district.


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A scene in Kalumpang Village, Mantangai, Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan, mid-July 2022. Image by Aldo/Kompas. Indonesia, 2022.

A collector of oil palm fruit bunches in Palangkaraya City, Central Kalimantan, weighs oil palm fruit bunches belonging to farmers. Image by Aldo/Kompas. Indonesia, 2022.

Infographic by Singsiawati/Kompas. Indonesia, 2022.

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