2022

Indonesian Parliament

Stanley Widianto, “Indonesia’s Parliament Passes Landmark Bill on Sexual Violence,” Reuters, (April 12, 2022). After six years of deliberation, Indonesian Parliament passed a bill intended to help victims of sexual violence more easily and fairly secure justice, though advocates have criticized the bill for its limited scope. The final bill also enacted a 9-year sentence for those convicted of forced marriage, including child marriages, compels perpetrators to pay restitution to survivors, and requires authorities to find counseling for victims. Read more.

Maryland Delegate Atterbeary

Steve Lash, “General Assembly Passes Bill to Raise Minimum Marriage Age to 17,” Maryland Daily Record, (April 11, 2022). On Monday April 11, 2022, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to raise the minimum marriage age in Maryland from 15 to 17 years old. In the case of a 17 year old getting married, they must first go before a judge and assure that they are not being forced or coerced to marry in any way. It has been a long battle to raise the minimum marriage age in Maryland, but many legislators agreed 17 was a good compromise. Read more.

The Chronicle Logo

Dr. Tajudeen Oyewale, “Towards Outlawing Child Marriage in Zim: The Marriage Bill Passes Both Houses of Parliament,” The Chronicle (March 15, 2022). Zimbabwe has taken the final steps to outlawing child marriage, passing the Marriage Bill which affirms a 2016 Constitutional Court ruling that had recognized marriage under age 18 as unconstitutional. The bill was signed into law on March 8, International Women’s Day. With the law firmly in place, it will now fall on the government to ensure its enforcement. Read more.

Capital Gazette Logo

Janet Holbrook, “Maryland Needs Strongest Possible Protections Against Child Marriage (Commentary),” The Capital Gazette (March 14, 2022). Opinion columnist Janet Holbrook criticizes the Senate approved version of the Maryland child marriage bill which would raise the minimum age of marriage to 17 but would not guarantee judicial review or emancipation upon marriage. She notes that the House is considering the unamended bill that does contain protections relating to judicial review and emancipation and she calls for members of the House to maintain these provisions in the bill’s final form. Read more.

Alaska Rep. Sara Rasmussen

James Brooks, “Alaska House Votes to Prohibit Marriage for Children 15 and Younger,” Anchorage Daily News (March 11, 2022). Representative Sarah Rasmussen (R-Anchorage) unexpectedly proposed an amendment to a bill being considered by the Alaska State House that would raise the minimum age of marriage in the state to 16. At this time, children as young as 14 can be married in Alaska with a judge’s approval. The amendment was approved 33-3 in the House and was added to a bill regarding the number of witnesses required for a marriage. Read more.

Baltimore Sun logo

Aliya Abbas, “Guest Commentary: Maryland Must Not Fail to Outlaw Child Marriage a Seventh Time,” The Baltimore Sun (March 9, 2022). Survivor-advocate Aliya Abbas calls on Maryland legislators to end child marriage completely by setting the state’s minimum marriage age at 18, no exceptions. Legislation to limit or end child marriage has been introduced in Maryland for seven years in a row, but the state has yet to pass any reforms. Read more.

Vincent Kilbride Graphic

“The Age of Marriage is Being Raised in England and Wales,” The Economist (March 5, 2022). Parliament has passed legislation to end child marriage in England and Wales, setting the countries’ minimum marriage age at 18 without exceptions. Previous law had allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to marry with parental permission. Scotland allows children the same ages to marry without a parental permission, a law which would be unaffected by this change. Read more.

Idaho Court

Johnathan Hogan, “Idaho Supreme Court Hears Arguments in ‘Sham’ Child Marriage Case,” Idaho Post Register (February 26, 2022). The Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving a child marriage that was reportedly used to circumvent a custody arrangement. Boise resident Erin Carver’s and her ex-husband, William Hornish, divorced in 2012. Hornish later moved to Florida and attempted to gain full custody of their 16-year-old daughter so that she could move to Florida as well. While the case was proceeding, Carver learned that Hornish had arranged and consented to their daughter’s marriage – emancipating her so that parental custody became irrelevant. Idaho has the highest rates of child marriage in the United States, and in 2019 the Idaho House of Representatives voted down legislation that would have ended child marriage in the state. Read more.

U.K. Parliament

“UK MPs Vote to Raise Minimum Age for Marriage,” Rthk.hk (February 26, 2022). On February 25, 2022, UK lawmakers voted to raise England and Wales’s minimum age for marriage from 16 to 18 years old. The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Bill was passed unopposed in the House of Commons and is expected to be easily passed in the House of Lords, after which it can become law. Under current law, individuals aged 16 or 17 can get married with parental consent in England and Wales. Read more.

CBS Sunday Morning

Luke Burbank, “How to Get Married in Montana Without Even Being There,” CBS Sunday Morning (February 13, 2022). A longstanding Montana law is receiving new attention as so-called “double-proxy” weddings have recently increased. This law allows for people who are a Montana resident, or an active member of the military, to get married in the state without they themselves being physically present. Watch the video.

Vermont capitol

Dan D’Ambrosio, “Vermont Legislators Consider a Bill that Would Ban Child Marriages,” Burlington Free Press (February 10, 2022). Rep. Carol Ode introduced a bill to raise the minimum legal age of marriage from 16 to 18. Currently, Vermont state law allows 16 and 17-year-olds to get married if they have permission from one parent in the form of a signature. Representative Ode expressed optimism that the bill would pass into law this year. Read more.

child marriage survivor

Amanda Engel, “Reducing Instances of Child Marriage in Maryland,” ABC 2 Baltimore (January 24, 2022). For the seventh year in a row, Maryland’s legislature will consider a bill to curtail child marriage in the state. Senate Bill 29 and House Bill 83 would set a minimum marriage age of 17, and only allow 17-year-olds to marry if they have first been granted legal adulthood by a judge in a new emancipation process. Both bills will have committee hearings in late January. Read more.

Illinois Capitol Rotunda

Jordan Elder, “Illinois Lawmakers Look to Increase the Legal Age of Marriage,” ABC 20 News (January 21, 2022). Illinois lawmakers have introduced legislation to end child marriage in the state, by setting the minimum marriage age at 18 without exceptions. Under current law children as young as 16 can marry with parental consent, though lawmakers note that this may be dangerous because as long as the parent approves, the child themselves does not actually have the power to refuse the marriage. Read more.

Child Marriage Survivor

Sasha K. Taylor, “Opinion: For the Sake of a Visa, I Was Forced into Marriage in Arizona – at Age 15,” The Washington Post (January 19, 2022). Sasha’s family forced her into marriage when she was just 15, as part of a plan to secure a visa for the adult husband she’d never met. Sasha was able to escape the marriage years later, and now advocates for policy changes in both state and federal law to ensure no more girls can be forced into marriage. Read more.

Survivor

Michael Kaplan, “’I Escaped a Jewish Cult That Wanted Me to Marry My 12-year-old Cousin,” Newsweek (January 18, 2022). When Mendy Levy was 15, the leaders of a fundamentalist Jewish sect he’d been born into tried to force him to marry his 12-year-old cousin. Levy escaped with the help of the Orthodox Jewish community, and is now 18 and planning to study psychology in college. A federal jury in New York convicted two of the sect’s leaders last November, but Levy still doesn’t know what became of his cousin or the other family members he left behind. Read more.

Female Students

Leah Rodriguez, “Five Steps We Can Take Right Now to Protect Girls from Child Marriage,” Global Citizen (January 13, 2022). Global Citizen lists five steps people can take to help end child marriage around the world: challenge gender norms that perpetuate the idea that girls are inferior to boys; ensure all girls have access to quality education; improve access to sexual and reproductive health; provide support for the development of adolescent girls; and support legal systems that protect girls’ rights. Read more.

Female Students

Leah Rodriguez, “Five Steps We Can Take Right Now to Protect Girls from Child Marriage,” Global Citizen (January 13, 2022). Global Citizen lists five steps people can take to help end child marriage around the world: challenge gender norms that perpetuate the idea that girls are inferior to boys; ensure all girls have access to quality education; improve access to sexual and reproductive health; provide support for the development of adolescent girls; and support legal systems that protect girls’ rights. Read more.

Rep. Levesque

Erick Trickey, “’Why is Child Marriage Still Legal?’: A Young Lawmaker Tackles a Hidden Problem,” Politico (January 9, 2022). New Hampshire State Representative Cassie Levesque first learned that child marriage was still legal in her home state as part of a Girl Scout project. When her efforts to convince lawmakers succeeded in a compromise measure that marked progress but fell short of a complete ban, she ran for office herself. Every year since her election Rep. Levesque has continued her campaign to end child marriage in New Hampshire. Read more.

President Duterte

Aila Slisco, “Philippines Bans Child Marriage While 44 U.S. States Allow It,” Newsweek (January 7, 2022). The Philippines have become the latest country to outlaw child marriage, with the signature of a bill banning not only legal marriages involving children under age 18 but also prohibiting similar informal unions. A nationwide campaign to end child marriage in the united states, meanwhile, has thus far only succeeded in prohibiting all marriage under 18 in six states since 2016. Read more.

Male Survivor of Child Marriage

Stephanie Sinclair, “Child Grooms Are Often Overlooked in the Fight to Stop Child Marriage,” NPR (January 2, 2022). In the global campaign to end child marriage, focus has justifiably been on the underage girls who make up the vast majority of children married under age 18. Often overlooked are the estimated 115 million boys and men around the world who were married as children. UNICEF published the first ever in-depth analysis of these child grooms in 2019, detailing how what is sometimes considered a “women’s or girls’ issue” also harms men and boys. Read more.

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