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Legislators Urged To Expedite Passage Of Law Banning Child Marriages

25 August 2021

Parliament has been urged to expedite the passage of the Guardianship of Minors Amendment Bill that seeks among other issues, to bar parents from consenting to the marriage of children.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi on Tuesday read the Bill for the second time in the National Assembly where he appealed to legislators to pass the proposed law.

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The Bill seeks to amend the Guardianship of Minors Act and will remove references to parents consenting to marriages of minor children as contained in section 4 of the Act.

Ziyambi said it was critical to pass the Bill to ensure the protection of minors against early marriages.

Besides outlawing child marriages, the Bill also seeks to align the law with the Constitution by giving a mother and a father equal rights over the guardianship of their child or children and to consult each other over their welfare.

The Bill will also give fathers co-guardianship for children born out of wedlock, removing current provisions that give the role to mothers.

Debate on the Bill is expected to continue this Wednesday.

More: The Herald