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Marriage Proposals
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Government Gazette

Compulsory age verification for young marriages

Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Minister Sumedha G. Jayasena will shortly obtain Cabinet approval to make it compulsory for accurate certification of age for young couples seeking marriage. This will be done to prevent child marriages, a Ministry spokesman said.

He said once Cabinet approval is received, it will be compulsory for marriage registrars to check the age of young couples before they enter wedlock by examining their birth certificates and the National Identity Cards.

According to the spokesman there are a large number of children under the age of 18 who get married producing false ages without the consent of their parents while some parents give off underage children in marriage by force.

This results in both children and their parents wasting their time attending court proceedings.

Giving female children in marriage producing a false age is very common practice in Sri Lanka and this has caused several problems for both the children and parents.

Child/teenage pregnancies, maternal deaths, malnutrition and several other health and social problems arise due to this situation. The proposal will mainly focus on protecting child brides, he added.

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