Call for ban on weddings in Northern Ireland involving under-18s

NIHRC says 68 children were married in NI in 2014
NIHRC says 68 children were married in NI in 2014

Marriages involving children under the age of 18 should be outlawed in Northern Ireland, a human rights watchdog has said.

According to the latest figures there were 68 children married in the Province, with the consent of their parents or guardians, in 2014.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has presented a report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, on what it called a “live issue in Northern Ireland”.

NIHRC chief commissioner Les Allamby said: “Child, early and forced marriage is one in over 20 issues that we have brought to the attention of the UN in this report.

“The marriage of under-18-year-olds is a live issue in Northern Ireland that needs to be addressed through a change to the law.

“This issue is a global one as well as a local one.”

NIHRC has also called for the minimum age of criminal responsibility to be raised from 10 to at least 12 years of age.