Lembang is a town located in West Java, north of the province capital city Bandung in Indonesia. Around 17,000 people live in this town, while Bandung itself has 2.5 million inhabitants.
Bandung is a commercial, industrial, cultural and technological hub in Indonesia. However, this economic growth has put pressure on the larger metropolitan area and its infrastructure, with many people living in slums in Bandung.
Children are especially vulnerable to these difficult living conditions. Girls are also more easily victim of the forced marriages still occurring in the province.
Since 1972, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Lembang.
In Indonesia, girls are still victim of child marriages. In fact, there are 1.2 million cases of child marriage in Indonesia. One in nine women aged 20-24 is married before she turns eighteen. Child marriage is a violation of the universal declaration of human rights, and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancies, STDs and domestic violence.
In the province of West Java specifically, where Lembang is located, between 10% and 15% of all women aged 20-24 were married before age 18. The national target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the government.
Bandung, the city right next to the town of Lembang, does not have the infrastructure to keep up with the rapid economic and demographic development. People move to Bandung in search of a better life and job opportunities, but they could end up in one of the slums in the city.
More than 50% of Bandung’s districts sill contain slum areas, where there is a lack of affordable housing, adequate sanitation and safe drinking water.
An estimated 120,000 people in the city live in slums. Children are most vulnerable to the poverty reigning in these slums, lacking access to healthcare and education.