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Tue 24 Dec 2019 01:20 PM

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Saudi Arabia issues ban on child marriages

People involved in arranging marriages for those under the age of 18 will face legal action

Saudi Arabia issues ban on child marriages

The kingdom’s Justice Minister Dr Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani has issued a directive to all courts and marriage officials instructing them that no marriage should be carried out involving those under the age of 18.

Saudi Arabia has issued a ban on child marriages, according to local media reports. 

The kingdom’s Justice Minister Dr Walid bin Mohammed Al-Samaani has issued a directive to all courts and marriage officials instructing them that no marriage should be carried out involving those under the age of 18.

The Child Protection Law states: “Before the conclusion of the marriage contract, it is necessary to ensure that a person marrying under the age of 18 will not be harmed, whether male or female.”

The circular also stated that matchmakers found violating the rules will also be held accountable and would be referred to the ministry for necessary legal action.

The order comes after an amendment to the kingdom's Child Protection Law was passed by the Shoura Council in January that looked to ban child marriages under 15 entirely and establish new rules around those between 16-18 years old.