03 April, 2019
The media have recently reported on the protection for girls from forced marriage by increasing the minimum age to 18 years. Campaigners have raised the issue regarding children marrying at the age of 16 years with parental consent as remaining vulnerable to forced marriage.
Conservative MP Pauline Latham informed the media that she considers that the law change could protect vulnerable teenagers being sent overseas to marry.
Currently children at the age of 16 are taken abroad to become married with their parents consent. If that age limit was increased to 18 years, those children may have managed to get to university, they may have a job or they may have be undertaken training and as such they would be in a stronger position to say no to their parents.
UNICEF have indicated that marriage before the age of 18 years is a fundamental violation of human rights. Campaigners for forced marriage claim that Commonwealth countries often follow the lead from a legal perspective of the UK and therefore changes here in England and Wales would have a real impact across the world.