Sierra Leone’s President Enacts Law Banning Child Marriage

Sierra Leone has enacted a landmark law banning child marriage, with severe penalties for violations. President Julius Maada Bio signed the law on Tuesday, stating that it signifies “freedom” for women and will be a defining achievement of his administration. The law, passed by parliament last month, imposes jail terms of at least 15 years or fines exceeding $2,000 on men who marry girls under the age of 18. It also prohibits men from living with underage girls and includes compensation provisions for those married or pregnant before 18. Given the prevalence of child marriages in the West African country, the new law is historic. In 2017, the nation of nine million people had 800,000 brides under the age of 18. The rate of child marriage has since reduced; however, the new law aims to further reduce these numbers by criminalizing child marriage.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *