President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines approved legislation prohibiting child marriage in the nation.
became unlawful in the Philippines
when a law prohibiting the practice went into place in a nation where one in every 6 women marries before the age of 18
. According to the rights organization Plan International, the underprivileged Southeast Asian nation has the 12th greatest rate of child marriages in the globe
, with long-held cultural beliefs and women's issues impeding change
. However, the new law agreed to sign by President Rodrigo Duterte and made public on Thursday, imposes prison sentences of up to 12 years for getting married or living with a spouse for everyone under 18.
People who arrange or solemnize underage marriages face the same punishment. According to the law, 'child marriage is a practice that constitutes child poor treatment because it discredits, worsens, and devalues the vital value and rights of children.
The law complies with global norms on the rights of women and girls.
Some parts of the legislation, however, have been stopped for a year to allow for a transitional phase for Muslims
and native tribes where child marriage is common. According to a United Nations Children's Fund report released last year, more than half a billion women and girls globally were married before the age, with Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia having the highest rates
. Recent data show that the approach is dropping globally on average.