Egypt's NCCM prevents child marriage in Kafr El-Sheikh after engagement video goes viral

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Dec 2018

Egyptian school children
File Photo: Egyptian school children (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's National Council For Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) has said that it has prevented a child marriage after photos of the engagement ceremony went viral on social media.

In a statement, the secretary-general of the council Azza El-Ashmawy said that the incident, which took place in Kafr El-Sheikh, was reported through the Child Helpline 16000, and the general committee for child protection was immediately contacted to investigate.

El-Ashmawy said that the parents of both children were informed about the dangers of early marriage.

According to the statement, the parents vowed to postpone the marriage until the children reach the legal age.

Over the weekend, Egyptian social media users have shared video and images of the two children at their engagement party, where the 14-year-old groom is seen dancing with his 15-year-old bride to loud applause by the attendees.

Since 2008, It has been illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get married in Egypt.

However, underage marriage is still common in the country.

According to a report by UNICEF and NCCM in 2018, one out of 20 girls aged 15 to 17 and one out of 10 girls aged 15 to 19 are currently, or at one time have been, married.

The report, which includes statistics based on CAPMAS figures in 2017, says girls in rural areas are three times more vulnerable to child marriage than girls living in urban areas.

In 2015, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi withdrew an objection made by Egypt in 1990 to a provision of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child regarding the child marriage issue.

The article stipulates that minors may not be married or engaged and that African states must take effectual procedures to ban marriage before 18.

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