I was pleased to support my Parliamentary colleagues in ensuring children are protected from coercion and abuse, through the raising of the age of marriage & civil partnerships in England & Wales from 16 to 18.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022, has now come in to force. It means that 16 and 17 year olds will no longer be allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership, even if they have parental consent.
It is now illegal and a criminal offence to exploit vulnerable children by arranging for them to marry under any circumstances whether or not force is used.
The change will crack down on forced marriages which can cause lasting damage on a child and forms part of the government’s continued commitment to tackle violence against women and girls.
You can read more on this new legislation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/legal-age-of-marriage-in-england-and-wales-rises-to-18