Campaigners have celebrated raising the legal age of marriage in the UK to 18. Currently couples can marry at 16, providing they have parental consent to do so.
The Guardian newspaper has reported the government has ‘committed to raising the minimum legal age of marriage to 18 in England and Wales.’
Lord Wolfson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, wrote:
“The government supports raising the legal age for marriage in England and Wales to protect vulnerable children living here. [It is] committed to making sure children and young people are both protected and supported as they grow and develop in order to maximise their potential life chances. This includes having the opportunity to remain in education or training until they reach the age of 18”.
“Child marriage and having children too early in life can deprive them of these important life chances.”
Natasha Rattu, director of Karma Nirvana, which has protected girls as young as 11 from child marriage, said:
“We are delighted that after relentless campaigning the government has listened to our joint calls to end child marriage by committing to raising the legal age to 18”.