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Legislation prohibits child marriage

Published on 21 April 2023
Child marriage and civil partnership for 16-to-17-year-olds is now prohibited in England and Wales
1 min read
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The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 officially came into force on 27 February. This Act prohibits 16 and 17-year-olds from marrying or entering into a civil partnership, regardless of whether they have parental consent.

This new legislation aims to put an end to child marriages, which can have devastating effects on young people. Any individual found guilty of arranging a child marriage, regardless of whether force is used or not, is now committing a criminal offence and could face up to seven years in prison.

This Act forms part of the government’s ongoing commitment to address violence against women and girls. It is widely acknowledged that the age of 18 is when a person reaches adulthood and is entitled to full citizenship rights. 

Read more on GOV.UK: Legal age of marriage in England and Wales rises to 18

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