Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Pakistan: Punjab Government Considers Anti-Child Marriage Law

(Jan. 30, 2015) On January 29, 2015, the Chairperson of the Punjab Provincial Commission on the Status of Women, while speaking at a conference on child marriages in Pakistan, stated that the Punjab Cabinet was considering several amendments to provincial-level marriage laws. According to a news report, the proposed changes include:

  • raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from 16 to 18;
  • establishing a Rs50,000 (about US$489) fine for the non-registration of marriage; and
  • punishing adult grooms who contract child marriages or those persons who solemnize or facilitate such marriages. (Punjab Plans to Raise Marriage Age for Girls to 18, DAWN.COM (Jan. 29, 2015).)

Currently, under a federal law that prohibits child marriages, a “child” is defined as a person under the age of 18 for boys and 16 for girls. (Child Marriage Restraint Act, No. 19 of 1929, § 2(a), REFWORLD.)

If such a proposal were to pass, the Punjab government would be the second province in Pakistan to pass anti-child-marriage laws. In April 2014, the Provincial Assembly of Sindh passed similar legislation prohibiting child marriages. (Tariq Ahmad, Pakistan: Sindh Provincial Assembly Passes Child Marriage Restraint Bill, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (May 23, 2014).)