Draft law refers to child marriage as human trafficking, punishes perpetrators by 5 yrs in prison



Sat, 02 Apr 2022 - 12:34 GMT


Sat, 02 Apr 2022 - 12:34 GMT

Representational image of child marriage

Representational image of child marriage

CAIRO – 2 April 2022: A draft law on combating child marriage and considering it a form of human trafficking was submitted to the House of Representatives by parliamentarian Amira al-Adly on Thursday.

Adly cited a World Bank report that says developing counties will lose trillions of dollars by 2030 due to child marriage. If combatted, positive effects will be seen on the education of girls and later their children, on the reduction of a woman’s offspring in her lifetime, and on her and her family’s income.

She added that child marriage is one of the main contributors of the population boom in Egypt, which also results in child labor, dropouts from education, and more cycles of child marriage.

She also cited CAPMAS, which reported that 117,000 Egyptian children between 10-17 years of age are married or have been married. Upper Egyptian governorates have the highest rates of marriage and divorce of children, while border governorates, the Red Sea, Sinai, Matrouh, and Aswan, have the least rates of child marriage.

The draft law suggests that every person who participated in the marriage of a minor younger than 18 years old is punished by five years in prison and a L.E.100,000-200,000 fine. The crime does not fall under the statute of limitations and the consent of the minor is disregarded even if they turned 18 later in the marriage.

That includes the guardians of the minor, the husband spouse of they are older than 18, those who produced the official or the urfi paperwork. The penalty is toughened by hard labor for those who used threats, force, offered money, gifts, or any form of privilege to persuade the child into marriage. Those who produced forged medical certificate or identification documents to pass the marriage as if the child is an adult deserves the same penalty.

A person who hides one of the defendants, the documents, any of the money granted to pass the marriage, or any evidence related to the crime is punishable by five years in prison and a L.E.50,000-100,000 fine. The same penalty applies to a person who reveals the identity of a victim, a witness, or the person who reported the marriage. If that person facilitates communication between the defendants and the victim of gave the victim false information about their rights or disrupted the victim’s mental health, they are punishable by the same penalty.

Meanwhile, people who knew of the marriage and did not report it are punishable by six months in prison and a fine of L.E. 10,000-20,000, unless they are public officers, in which case they are punished by five years in prison.

If one of the defendants reported the marriage to the authorities, they may be exempt from the penalty if subsequently the rest of the defendants are apprehended, and any involved money is ceased.

The promotion of child marriage by any means is punishable by five years in prison with labor and a fine of L.E.100,000-20,000.





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