Guatemala has finally approved a modification to its Code of Civil Law which now sets 18 as the minimum age for marriage for both girls and boys. From 2009 to 2013 more than 80,000 girls under 18 were forced to marry men who, in most cases, were three times their age. The new law was made possible thanks to negotiations lasting three years, promoted by Plan International through its worldwide campaign Because I am a Girl, in collaboration with several civil organizations for the protection of the human rights of girls. To achieve this important result a broad mobilization, both social and political, was necessary. The new law will protect very young girls from sexual abuse, from premature pregnancies and from physical and psychological violence. At last they will be able to pursue their studies and to express their full potential. Obviously the work has just begun: it will now be a matter of making the law known to local communities, especially the rural ones where traditions and cultures still encourage precocious marriages. Plan International Italia supports the Because I am a Girl campaign with two projects: one at San Pedro Carcha in Guatemala for the education of girls and the other at Mansa in Zambia for the introduction into the labour market of 6,000 former child brides.
St. Peter’s Square
Feb. 29, 2020
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