Alberta leads the country in the rate of child marriages, according to new research, issuing 791 licences to teenagers ages 16 to 18 between 2000 and 2018.
Breaking it down by sex, that’s five in every 10,000 girls, compared with one per 10,000 boys. Across Canada, at least 3,382 children were married over the same period.
Those numbers surprised Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Minister Leela Aheer.
Payman Parseyan, Aheer’s press secretary, told Postmedia in an email the minister will continue to monitor the issue.
He said anyone with concerns about the welfare of young people in Alberta — including forced marriages or inappropriate relationships — should contact law enforcement.
The research into Canadian child marriage was led by Alissa Koski, an assistant professor at McGill University who examines women’s health and well-being in low-income countries.
Read more here.
Read our interview with Dr. Koski from last year here.
Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense