December 1, 2016
Fixing the minimum age of girls for marriage at 18 and 21 for males, the ‘Child Marriage Restraint Act 2016’, which has spun popular debates, got the final nod of approval in the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office.
The new legislation includes a provision allowing child marriage in ‘special cases’, e.g. if a girl becomes pregnant accidentally or illegally in order to protect her honour. It also stipulates that a marriage between two minors or between a minor and an adult will be considered a child marriage.
In case of any form of violation of the act, the court holds the right to impose ban and set penalty and imprisonment accordingly. If parents are found involved in organizing child marriage, they will also be punished. If a child marriage is registered, the license of the marriage conductor will be cancelled.
“The draft has been approved with a goal to reduce the high rate of child marriage in Bangladesh,” Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam told reporters at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.
Source: Dhaka Tribune