A Remarkable and progressive movement by the Philippines Government.
A little while back, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, signed a new law paper that makes child marriage an illegal act. The law says those who force children for getting married are classified as culpable parties.
As per the 2021 reports published by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), around 12 million girls under 18 are married each year, and 650 million girls and women alive today were married as children. But it can be stopped. 25 million child marriages have been prevented in the last decade thanks to progress.
Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are the areas with the highest rates of child marriage. According to Britain-based rights group Plan International, the Southeast Asian country, the Philippines has the 12th highest number of child marriages in the world. Earlier cultural practices and gender inequalities are considered as the main reason for this.
The new law states, “The state… views child marriage as a practice constituting child abuse because it debases, degrades, and demeans the intrinsic worth and dignity of children.”
Even though the law was signed, some particular sections of the legislation are now suspended for one year. The purpose of this one-year gap is to allow the transition period for Muslims and other indigenous communities. Now, the recent data shows that the percentage of child marriage around the world is on a downtrend and the practice will continue to decline.
“This is a major victory in our campaign to end child marriage in the Philippines. This law will help protect children, especially young girls, and hopefully change the trajectory of their lives,” Bernadette Herrera, the deputy speaker and one of the primary authors of the measure, said in a statement.
“This new law is a big step toward ensuring that children’s rights will be upheld and their well-being and future secured,” she said.
Under the law RA 11596, individuals who force children under the age of 18 for getting married can be imprisoned for up to 12 years. The law perfectly indicates that marrying or cohabiting with any child under the age of 18 is offensive.
“This is a historic step toward the criminalization of child marriage, which has trapped … Filipino girls into unwanted and early child-bearing and child-rearing responsibilities and even into cycles of abuse,” said Herrera. “We really need to step in and stop the trend while we seek to strengthen protective and support services for children.”
Now, that was a piece of evidence that the world is getting better and day by day society is getting progressive. This law will develop a progressive mentality in people not only in the Philippines but also inspires other countries.
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