Monday, June 29, 2009

Saudi Arabia to Set Minimum Marriage Age

RIYADH: The Saudi government is working on new regulations to impose a minimum age for marrying to prevent child weddings, the head of the official Human Rights Commission said on Sunday.

“Although they are very limited, we are worried about cases of children being married,” the commission’s president Bandar al-Aiban said in an interview.

“This is under serious review... we are discussing what is the appropriate age for marriage,” he said, adding that the minimum age in the new regulations could range from 16 to 18 years old.

Aiban said the problem is that under Islamic law, the foundation of the Saudi justice system has no prohibition on child marriage and new regulations have to be crafted in harmony with sharia principles.

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