Pakistan has outlawed child marriage and toughened penalties for those guilty of the crime in an effort to crack down on the practice which is estimated to affect one in five girls in the country.
The legislation passed by the National Assembly, or lower house of parliament, also bans forced marriage involving women from minority groups. Under the new law, offenders will face a minimum of five years in prison and may serve up to 10 years. They also face a fine of up to 1 million rupees (RM42,000).
Before the change in law, offenders faced a minimum of three years in prison and a fine of 500,000 rupees (RM21,000).
“The punishment has been made harsher in the law … in order to completely curb the social maladies which have risen because of the less stringent punishment and fines,” Federal Law and Human Rights minister Zahid Hamid told Thomson Reuters Foundation by telephone.
Read more at http://www.star2.com/family/children/2017/02/11/pakistan-gets-tough-on-child-marriages/#dlgxoxWOmreIBAhw.99