Naomi Wiseman quoted in The Guardian - New Bill could close child marriage loophole in England & Wales

Monday 5 October 2020

Naomi Wiseman of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team is providing legal advice on a new Bill that could close a loophole allowing child marriage in England & Wales. 

Find out more in this Guardian article.

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Naomi Wiseman of the Garden Court Chambers Family Law Team is advising the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) in relation to their campaign (with other groups) to introduce legislation to end child marriage in England and Wales.

Naomi is quoted in The Guardian:

“The UK has no legitimacy with respect to international human rights when we are allowing child marriage to take place in this country.

Currently the onus is on the victim to say they have been forced into marriage. A ban on child marriage would take away that pressure.

The other concern is girls who have been groomed won’t believe they have been forced. If there is no element of force, then you must examine the fact we are talking about children who do not have the capacity to consent. Put simply, it is a child protection issue.”

IKWRO is part of the Girls Not Brides Global Partnership seeking to end child marriage around the world. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, a 16 and 17 year old can marry with parental consent and in Scotland the minimum marriageable age is 16. Activists believe consent can mean coercion.

To protect children, Girls Not Brides are calling for the minimum marriageable age to be raised to 18 in Scotland and parental consent in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be abolished. 

To find out more about the campaign and how you can support these organisations, visit the IKWRO and Girls Not Brides websites.

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