Dominican Republic bans child marriage

Dominican Republic bans child marriage

CREDIT: Niek Verlaan - Pixabay

THE Dominican Republic has definitively banned child marriage.

The Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic ended 2020 with an approval of the bill that bans child marriage in the country, where girls from the age of 15 were previously allowed to marry.

The violation of this law will be punished with a lesser sentence of imprisonment of two to five years and fines of around €8,000 to €17,000, in addition to the annulment of the marriage.

According to official data, 36 per cent of Dominican girls and adolescents marry or unite before the age of 18, which is the highest rate in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In 12% of unions, the bride was less than 15 years old, a figure that doubles the average of weddings before the age of 15 in Latin America according to UNICEF data.

Congressmen voted on the initiative after accepting a series of modifications that the Senate made to the bill on December 21 and that “enriched” the law which was approved for the first time in the Lower House in November 2020, according to Deputy Jose Horacio Rodriguez.

The law will now go to the Executive Branch for enactment.

The Dominican President, Luis Abinader, said that “it is unacceptable that the Dominican Republic occupies the first place” in Latin America on this issue.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.