Child marriage will now be illegal in Trinidad and Tobago.
The Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill 2016 was unanimously passed yesterday (9th June, 2017)- this was a bill to amend the Marriage Act Chapter 45:01, The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act Chapter 45:02, The Hindu Marriage Act Chapter 45:03, The Orisa Marriage Act Chapter 45:04 and The Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act Chapter 45:51.
The bill that is now passed,
- raises the legal age of marriage to eighteen (18) years;
- repeals any parental consent for a marriage (consent can no longer be given to allow a person under 18 years of age to marry).
- creates an offence where it is illegal to solemnise a marriage of a person who is under the age of eighteen (18) years. The newly passed bill, inserts a new section in the Marriage Act, Chapter 45:01, this section being, section 41B, part of which states:
- Section 41B:
(1) – “A person who knowingly and willfully solemnizes the marriage of a person who is under eighteen years of age commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for seven years”
(2)-“A person who is convicted under subsection (1) shall cease to be eligible to hold a licence or to solemnise any marriage”.
- Section 41B:
- The bill also extends the hours in which a marriage can be solemnised. In the past, marriages could only be solemnised from six o’clock in the forenoon (morning) to six o’clock in the afternoon that has now changed to six o’clock in the forenoon (morning) to nine o’clock in the afternoon.