Child rights coalition welcomes efforts to tighten child marriage laws – Nation

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PETALING JAYA: Child’s Right Coalition Malaysia (CRCM) has welcomed the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement to tighten child marriage laws.

“We would like to reiterate that we are strongly against child marriages and will continue to advocate for the Malaysian legal marriage age to be increased to 18 years across the board.

“We are encouraged that the Deputy Prime Minister has reiterated her stand to do so and are supportive of governmental efforts to increase child protection,” it said in a statement on Friday (Nov 23).

The coalition of child rights NGOs said this in reference to Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic), who is also the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, who had said that laws governing child marriages would be tightened.

Dr Wan Azizah said the amendments to the law will cover both civil and Islamic marriages and make it a requirement for relevant agencies to submit reports before such marriages are allowed.

The group said child sexual abuse was a form of child abuse that takes place when an individual is in a position of power that coerces or forces sexual activity on a minor in order to achieve sexual gratification.

“No child is able to provide consent to sexual advances. Sexual abuse can also take place without physical contact between the two parties, which includes verbal and visual forms.

“Child sexual abuse has long lasting negative effects on a survivor and their families,” it said.

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