Indonesia raises minimum age for brides to 19

Jakarta: Indonesian Parliament has raised the minimum age for women to marry to 19 in an effort to curtail child marriage in the country. There was unanimous agreement on the revision to the country’s existing marriage law, according to a statement on Indonesia’s House of Representatives’ website.

Under current laws, girls are allowed to marry at 16 and boys to marry at 19, while parents can also ask religious courts or local officials to authorise marriages of younger girls with no minimum age in such cases, media reports said.

According to Unicef, about 14 per cent of girls in Indonesia are married before their 18th birthdays, and 1 per cent are married before they turn 15.

Girls Not Brides — an international non-governmental organization with the mission to end child marriage throughout the world — said that Indonesia has the eighth highest number of child marriages in the world at more than 1 million.

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