On Thursday, the Parliament approved a law to ban child marriage in Peru, a country where over 4,000 underage weddings have been recorded in the last 9 years.
The bill was passed with 113 votes in favor and three abstentions. It will not be subject to a second vote and is now ready for promulgation.
Various international and social organizations applauded the decision of the Peruvian Congress, which modifies five articles of the Civil Code to state that individuals under 18 years of age cannot marry.
Marriage with an older guardian will also not be allowed, and one of the grounds for annulment of a marriage will be if the parties involved are under 18 years of age.
“Today, girls won!” the United Nations Population Fund stated, adding that it will continue to “contribute to protecting the rights and choices so that no one is left behind.”
The feminist organization Manuela Ramos emphasized that “abusers will no longer be able to use forced child marriage as a shield to seek impunity.”
Janet Rivas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights, stated that the new law aligns with international regulations on the protection of the human rights of minors against harmful practices such as child marriage.
“It is essential to highlight that child marriage is not gender-neutral, as it has a greater impact on women, increasing the risk of maternal or neonatal morbidity and mortality, gender-based violence, and family violence, school dropout, poverty, and more,” she added.
Legislator Flor Pablo expressed her gratitude for the teamwork with social organizations, community leaders, and fellow congress members after the vote in the Legislative assembly.
“Today, we have successfully eliminated this harmful practice that condemned our girls to a cycle of abuse, poverty, and stagnation of their life projects, especially in the most remote areas of the country,” she said.