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UK law changed to ban marriage under 18

After four years of attempts which have fallen or stalled for various reasons, Pauline Latham MP has finally seen her Bill calling for a ban on marriage for those under the age of 18 pass through all of the required stages to become law.

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 received Royal Assent in May 2022. As such, it is now wholly illegal for those under the age of 18 to be married - the provision for parental approval for 16 and 17 year olds has been removed.

Under the new law, adults who facilitate marriage of those under 18 could face a fine and up to seven years in jail - and this includes those who take children out of the UK to carry out the marriage. The children involved will not face any punishment.

TG is delighted to see this change in the law, having supported this call for change since it first arose in 2018. We hope that this will help to protect children from being pushed by their families into marriage before they are ready - in particular, girls who are often pressured into marriages with older men.

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