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Fiji legal marriage age now 18

 

Jul 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM

The new legal marriage age for both males and females in Fiji is 18, it has been confirmed.

Currently, Section 12 of the Marriage Act (Cap 50) provides that the minimum marriageable age is 16 years for females, and 18 years for males.

Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said that by having a minimum marriageable age of 16 for females, Fiji is allowing children to get married.

“This is regarded as a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,” he said.

Increasing the marriage age from 16 to 18 years will prohibit involuntary marriages, he said.

“This will allow females and males, from the age of 18, to choose their marriage partners.”

Sayed-Khaiyum also said it will also stop the practice of female children in some instances being regarded as commodities and being sold for financial gain.

He added the Marriage Act (Amendment) Decree 2009 will remove the discriminatory treatment accorded to males and females under the Marriage Act, by equalizing the marriageable age for both genders at 18 years.

“The requirement of parental consent where a party to an intended marriage, although of marriageable age, is under the age of 21 years will also be removed.”

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