The Human Rights Commission is calling for the marriage of minors to be outlawed in New Zealand.
The call for a debate on the age Kiwis should be able to marry was echoed by women’s organisation Shakti, during a Justice Select Committee hearing on the Marriage (Court Consent to Marriage of Minors) Amendment Bill.
Currently, anyone aged 16 or 17 in New Zealand can marry with parental consent.
ln 2016, 30 children aged 16 or 17, married in New Zealand. That number was 48 in 2015, and 42 in 2014. …
The proposed bill would mean those cases of marriage where one or both of the parties are aged 16 or 17 would have to go through a court process for approval before they can go ahead with the marriage.
Human Rights Commissioner human rights advisor Joanna Maskell said the commission wanted to see the bill further amended to stop anyone under the age of 18 getting married.
I support the bill as necessary to protect 16 and 17 years olds being pressured into marriage by their families.
But maybe the simpler option is simply to make the age at which you can marry to be 18, not 16. 18 is the age you get most of your “full” rights such as voting.
Would anyone be harmed at having to wait until 18 to marry?