|Date||19 July 2018|
|Event status||By invitation only|
a collaboration of UNICEF & ISIS Malaysia
Whilst the Child Act 2001 defines a child as 18 and above, this definition is not applied to provisions on the minimum age of marriage for non-Muslims under the LRA or the Islamic family laws of the 13 States in Malaysia or native customary laws.
The establishment of a clear minimum age for marriage at 18 in line with international standards that applies to all existing legal frameworks is therefore a key first step to ending child marriage in Malaysia.
The data available is also irregular, inconsistent, limited, and at times contradictory. This is a significant barrier to effective advocacy on this issue because, to the average Malaysian, child marriage is not an issue plaguing this country.
The proposed forum will be based on discussions arising from findings of the study that was commissioned by UNICEF Malaysia and authored by Dato’ Noor Aziah Mohd Awal and Mohd Al Adib Samuri from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. The study examines child marriage within Malaysia’s Muslims, non-Muslims, indigenous and refugee communities. Drivers of child marriage, recommendations and strategies towards ending child marriage will be discussed as well during the forum. The audience will consist of civil society organisations, parliamentarians, policy-makers, amongst others.
It is also noteworthy that this is an opportune moment as the Harapan Manifesto in ‘Commitment 4: Ensuring the legal system protects women’s rights and dignity’ includes the promise to introduce a law that sets 18 as the minimum age of marriage.