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22nd February 2023

New Child Marriage law Statement

On the 27th February 2023 we hit a significant milestone on our journey towards ending child marriage.

The implementation of the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act on 27th February 2023 is an important development and a significant step towards eliminating child marriage in all its forms throughout England and Wales.

This legislation bans marriage for 16 and 17-year-olds, who no longer will be allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership, even if they have parental consent, as the legal age of marriage rises to 18.

It is now illegal and a criminal offence to exploit vulnerable children by arranging for them to marry, under any circumstances whether or not force is used.

Child Marriage is a Crime

This animation highlights new legislation that will raise the legal age of marriage in England and Wales to 18. It means that 16 and 17-year-olds will no longer be allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership, even with parental consent. 

The animation raises awareness of child marriage and its harmful effects. We encourage people to share the video and important message about the new law with friends, family, colleagues or even with your local school. 

However, a child marriage happens, obvious or not – IT IS A CRIME. 

Template letters to raise awareness of law change

Use these templates to write to Heads of schools and Police forces.

Letter to Heads of Schools 

Letter to Police Chief’s

Child Marriage Factsheet

The change will crack down on forced marriages which can cause lasting damage on a child and forms part of the government’s continued commitment to tackle violence against women and girls.

Those found guilty of arranging child marriages face sentences of up to 7 years in prison.

The age of 18 is widely recognised as the age at which one becomes an adult and gains full citizenship rights.

Ministry of Justice Press Release

Press Release

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