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Sierra Leone bans child marriage with new law

todayJuly 3, 2024 7

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Sierra Leone has brought in a new law banning child marriage with much fanfare at a ceremony organised by First Lady Fatima Bio in the capital, Freetown. The BBC reports that invited guests, including first ladies from Namibia and Cape Verde, watched as her husband President Julius Maada Bio signed the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act into law. Anybody now involved in the marriage of a girl aged under the age of 18 will be jailed for at least 15 years or fined around $ 4,000 (N$ 73,985.32), or both.

Reuters further reports that parents or those attending such marriage ceremonies could also face fines. The U.S. Bureau of African Affairs welcomed the passing of the bill as a “significant milestone (that) not only protects girls but promotes robust human rights protections.”

West and Central Africa has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world and is home to nearly 60 million child brides, according to the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF.


Written by: Tonata Kadhila

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