“14% of girls in Indonesia are married before the age of 18, and 1% are married before their 15th birthday.” – UNICEF
Indonesia’s parliament will raise the minimum age for marriage to 19 in a ruling aimed to curb child marriage in the south east Asian nation.
Indonesia’s House of Representatives passed the revision to the country’s existing marriage laws unanimously, according to Reuters. Changes to the existing laws will take place within three years.
Under current laws girls are allowed to marry at 16 and boys to marry at 19. Parents can also apply to religious courts or local officials to authorise marriages of younger girls – there is no minimum age in such cases. NGOs and foreign governments have urged Indonesia to tackle the issue of child brides in the large mostly-Muslim nation, calling out the practice as child abuse and even pedophilia.
NGO ‘Girls Not Brides’, a global initiative to end child marriage, says that Indonesia has the eighth highest number of child brides in the world.
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