Despite the existence, since 1929, of legislation banning it, child marriage continues to be a social reality today. This book provides a thought-provoking analysis of the reasons why such marriages, which effectively deprive children of their childhood, in particular the girl child, areallowed to take place. It goes on to establish that child marriage has a devastating effect on the health and overall development of the girl child. Jaya Sagade provides a powerful critique of the state of Indian law - the lacunae, confusions, contradictions, and lack of gender sensitivity inherent in the provisions of various statutes which deal with the age of marriage, of consent, and the validity of marriage. It examines domestic law in thecontext of international human rights law, and shows how the custom violates every human right to which a child is entitled, including the right to health, education, equality, liberty, and security of person, and of course, the right to make a free and informed choice of a spouse. The role of civilsociety in challenging the status quo is also highlighted. The new epilogue highlights the latest developments in India in context of child marriage. It also discusses the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.