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Child Marriage In Bangladesh: New York Takes Action To Ban Same Practice

Update Date: Mar 03, 2017 07:30 AM EST

Child marriage in Bangladesh has now been legalized which are worrying human rights watchers around the world. In New York City, authorities are also taking action to end marriage for children as young as 14 years old.

Child Marriage In Bangladesh

On Feb. 27, the Bangladesh Parliament approved a law that allows girls under 18 years old to enter into marriage under "special circumstance." There is no minimum age for the child marriage to take effect as long as there is permission from the parents and the court.

Bangladesh has the highest rate of child marriage in Asia and in the world. Around 52 percent of the girls marry before their 18the birthday, while 18 percent marry before age 15.

Before the approval of the new law on child marriage, Bangladesh's legal age of marriage was 18 years old for women and 21 years old for men. Human rights advocates are now looking at the damage brought by the new law. 

"Nothing can change the fact that this is a destructive law. But carefully drafted regulations can mitigate some of the harm to girls," Heather Barr, senior researcher on women's rights at Human Rights Watch, said. Child marriage in Bangladesh can harm girls with complications from adolescent pregnancy and abortion.

Child Marriage In New York

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is taking action to put an end to child marriage. Many are surprised that there is such a practice in the United States.

Indeed, child marriage is legal in the city of New York. There is a law that allows children as young as 14 years old to enter into marriage. There is a pending legislation to reform the law and ban marriages before the age of 17.

Countries in the world have committed to end child marriage by 2030. Nepal, Netherlands, Malawi, Spain and Sweden have already changed their laws to reduce child marriage.

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