NEW YORK, May 15 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Two U.S. states have banned child marriage this month, but experts warned rising use of online marriage licenses during the coronavirus pandemic could weaken protections in a country where it was legal everywhere less than two years ago.
Be it to hide pregnancy or follow religious tradition, tens of thousands of girls – some as young as 12 – marry older men in the United States each year, campaigners say.
During the pandemic, several U.S. states including New York have allowed couples to make remote marriage applications and clerks to perform ceremonies via video conference.
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Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense