Exemptions for child marriage in Domestic Violence Bill welcomed by Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
The ISPCC has welcomed the repeal of exemptions for child marriage included in the Domestic Violence Bill published by Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald today.
The Tánaiste said the legislation will make underage marriage “a thing of the past” and will ban forced marriages.
According to CSO figures, 387 children married at the age of 16 or 17 between 2004 and 2014 in Ireland.
Chief executive of the ISPCC, Grainia Long, says children should not be forced into marriage, but wait until they are older and more emotionally ready.
"I think it's a very good thing that we give children the freedom to make those emotional, psychological, and legal decisions around marriage at a later stage," she said.
"We're not saying that children shouldn't form relationships and young people shouldn't form relationships, it's a natural part of growing up. But leaving marriage to a later age until they're emotionally and psychologically prepared for the impact of marriage."
This article was published on The Irish Examiner's website on February 4, 2017.
The Domestic Violence Bill is available here.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights that must be realized for children to develop their full potential, free from hunger and want, neglect and abuse. It reflects a new vision of the child. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognizing children's rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.