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​SUHAKAM backs plan to raise marriage age

Graphic: Husband places wedding ring on bride's finger

The Commission said child marriages can compromise a girl’s development, for example by early pregnancy or interrupting her education.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) has endorsed a proposal to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 for Muslim girls.

In a statement to mark Universal Children's Day celebrations, SUHAKAM said it fully endorsed the proposal, made by the Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development, as being in line with the Child Act which defines children as those below the age of 18.

SUHAKAM noted that the United Nations had set a goal of ending child marriage by 2030, which Malaysia had endorsed.

The Commission also said child marriages can compromise a girl's development by early pregnancy, interrupting her education, limiting her opportunities for career advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence.

Under present law, children were left vulnerable to forced marriages and exploitation, particularly in cases of rape or sexual abuse where the perpetrator used marriage as a protection from prosecution.

Date: 20 November 2016

Source: Human Rights Commission of Malaysia


Image credits

  1. Husband places wedding ring on bride's finger - Azlan DuPree, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2g8c2E6