Only the sixth state in the United States has outlawed child marriage.
On Thursday, New York became the sixth state in the United States to outlaw child marriage.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, approved legislation raising the age of marriage consent to 18 years old.
Cuomo said in a statement, “This administration worked hard to eradicate child marriage in New York, and I’m proud to sign this legislation to reinforce our laws and further protect vulnerable children from abuse.” “Children should be able to enjoy their childhoods, and I appreciate the numerous politicians and advocates who fought tirelessly to promote this bill and further prevent forced marriages in this state.”
In 2017, the governor signed legislation prohibiting child marriage and raising the consent age from 14 to 18. However, the law made an exception for 17-year-olds who could marry with their parents’ permission and the approval of the courts.
The new bill, which was enacted on Thursday, plugs that loophole by prohibiting any marriage in which one or both partners are under the age of 18. In 30 days, the law will take effect.
In a statement, state lawmaker Julia Salazaar said that “irrespective of maturity level, kids lack sufficient legal rights and autonomy that they require to defend them if they join a marriage contract before becoming adults.” “The vast majority of minors who marry are young girls, and marrying before reaching maturity can have disastrous implications for them.”
New York is the country’s sixth state to prohibit marriage before the age of eighteen. The only other states that have outlawed child marriage are Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
For minors with parental agreement, many states have a minimum marriage age ranging from 12 to 17 years old. However, when all exceptions are taken into account, numerous states, like California, Massachusetts, and Wyoming, have no minimum age for minors.
Between 2000 and 2018, an estimated 4,890 children in New York were subjected to child marriage, according to Unchained At Last, an organization that seeks to stop forced and child marriage. In a press release, the group stated that almost majority of the women were married to adult men.
According to a survey published in April by Unchained At Last, approximately 300,000 kids were legally married in the United States between 2000 and 2018. Some of them were. This is a condensed version of the information.