Protecting teens from forced marriage

The Herald reports:

A bill designed to protect teenagers from forced marriages will go before Parliament.

The private member’s bill by National MP Joanne Hayes changes the consent requirements for 16 and 17-year-olds who wish to marry.

Currently parental consent is needed in such cases. This would change to require an application to be lodged to the court and the consent of a Family Court judge.

“This bill will address the concern that some 16 and 17 year olds may be being force into marriage,” Hayes said.

I’m very supportive of this bill. Every year around 500 teenagers get married – mainly young women. I can’t see why anyone needs to get married before they are 18, but if so then it is sensible to make sure the marriage is truly willing.

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