A sadly needed law

The Herald reports:

A law that gives children more protection against is expected to pass with unanimous support in Parliament today.

The Marriage (Court Consent to Marriage of Minors) Amendment Bill aims to prevent forced marriages of mostly girls, aged 16 and 17 and considered minors by the state, by changing the requirement of consent from parents to a Family Court judge.

The change also applies to civil unions and de facto relationships.

Dozens of teens are married in New Zealand each year and Shakti NZ, a community organisation which works with migrant and refugee women of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin, says it sees the damage done by forced marriage.

It is sad this law is needed, but it is. The extra step of the needing a Family Court Judge to consent should deter these forced marriages of under 18s.

There is arguably a case for the age of marriage to be 18, not 16. I guess as the age of sexual consent is 16, the age of marriage is linked to that.

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