Sierra Leone bans child marriage

On Tuesday, July 2, Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio signed into law a law banning child marriage, announcement The Sierra Leone Telegraph. As the website of the BBC, a ceremony was organized especially for the occasion “with drums and trumpets” at the Bintumani Conference Centre in the capital, Freetown. The event brought together several first ladies from African countries and feminist activists. When the bill was adopted by parliament a few days earlier, the news site Awoko evoked a “landmark decision”.

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act criminalises the marriage of girls under the age of 18. It provides for a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of several thousand euros for anyone who facilitates such unions – spouses and family members. In addition, there are provisions to ensure financial compensation for young women who are forced into marriage before they reach the age of majority, and an annulment procedure.

The law allows children whose marriage was concluded before the text came into force to file a

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