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Legal Age Of Marriage Set To Be Raised By Two Years In England And Wales

Hannah Van-de-Peer

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| Last updated 

Legal Age Of Marriage Set To Be Raised By Two Years In England And Wales

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

A campaign to raise the minimum legal age of marriage by two years looks set to go through in England and Wales, as MPs debate it today in the House Of Commons.

Conservative MP Pauline Latham has introduced the private members' bill, which is expected to win approval by a majority agreement in parliament.

If the act becomes law, anyone who becomes complicit in underage marriage (currently under the age of 16, it will be raised to 18) could spend up to seven years in prison.

The aim is to pass the bill as a deterrent for those complicit in child marriage. [Credit: Unsplash]
The aim is to pass the bill as a deterrent for those complicit in child marriage. [Credit: Unsplash]

The bill will also see the minimum age of civil partnerships raised from 16 to 18. Teens aged 16 and 17 can currently enter a marriage or civil partnership with the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

The draft is currently only on its second reading at the House Of Commons, where it started. In order to be made law, it'll have to go through the same process in the House Of Lords before reaching final stages.

This bill will see the legal age of marriage and civil partnerships raised to 18. [Credit: Shutterstock]
This bill will see the legal age of marriage and civil partnerships raised to 18. [Credit: Shutterstock]

After the second reading today, the budding new law will have to be amended and debated in three more stages before being passed on to the House Of Lords.

If made law, the bill will see tougher restrictions clamped down onto arranged child marriages.

Multiple campaigners for child marriage charities have spoken out in favour of the proposal. It's thought that parents are using loopholes in the current law to coerce their children into early marriage.

The bill has to pass through several stages in government before being set in stone. [Credit: Unsplash]
The bill has to pass through several stages in government before being set in stone. [Credit: Unsplash]

It's Latham's aim that the bill will broadcast the message out to other countries that child marriage won't be tolerated.

Topics: News, Politics

Hannah Van-de-Peer
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