Malawi Police advise against early marriages

A strong call has gone out to traditional leaders in the country to take a leading role in the fight against early marriages.

The call from Child Protection and Victim Support Unit Co-ordinator for Malawi’s eastern district of Balaka Police Constable Donna Kaoloka follows an increase in reported cases of early marriages in the district.

Kaoloka cites an example where a Group Village Headman in the area of Traditional Authority Kachenga in the district allowed a 14-year-old girl and a 15- year-old boy to get married.

“The law does not allow children of this age to get into marriage; and what is happening is killing the future of the nation. We are therefore appealing traditional leaders to take a leading role in the fight against early marriages,” he says.

Adolescent girl leaders advocating for the end of child marriage in Malawi. Photograph: GENET Malawi

She says according to reports so far received, most of the Traditional Leaders do not look at the age when allowing children to get married.

“They just look at the money they receive after one registers a marriage in their village which is an infringement on the rights of children,” she says.

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