Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) has called for thorough investigations into child bride cases.
The party made the call in a statement released on Thursday, following reports of young children being wed “out of court”. Over the past weekend, reports of a now 13-year-old being wed thrice since the age of nine emerged; she is to have given birth at 13.
This shocked the public, and had led to an outcry.
Describing this as a merciless act towards children, MRM stressed that Article 4 of the Family Law determines the minimum age for marriage.
Clause (b) of the article states that “where a person who has not completed 18 years of age in accordance with the Gregorian Calendar makes and application to marry, the registrar of marriages has the discretion, where that person has attained puberty, to grant approval to the solemnization of that marriage upon having considered the person’s physical well-being, competence to maintain a livelihood, and reasons for contracting the marriage.”
MRM said that these young children are being subject to mental and physical harm in the name of marriage.
Hence, the party called to find all involved in such acts and to take the necessary action.
It further called to take all measure to ensure that this does not repeat, as well as to guarantee the safety and well-being of the victims.
The reports of a pregnant 13-year-old child bride that came after her rapist was violently attacked by his crew-mates on a sea-cucumber fishing boat due to a disagreement.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih recently ratified two laws related to child rights; the Child Rights Protection Bill and the Juvenile Justice Bill.