Child Act 2001 (ACT 611) provides that every child is entitled to protection assistance in all circumstances without regard to distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, social origin or physical, mental or emotional disabilities or any status. The provisions of Act 611 are based on the four core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which are of the non-discriminative, best interest of the child, the right to life, survival and development and respect for the views child.
In Malaysia, for Muslims, The Islamic Family Law Act (Federal Territory) 1984 (IFLA) provides that the minimum age for marriage is eighteen years for male and sixteen years for female. If any person wishes to marry below the minimum age requirement, section 18 (1) (a) provides that an application may be to a Syariah Judge to obtain permission to solemnisation such marriage while non Muslims, under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 [Act 164], minimum age for the marriage is eighteen years. However, the Chief Minister of a particular State may in his discretion grant a license authorizing the solemnization of a marriage of the girl child who is under the age of eighteen years and has completed her sixteenth year.
In light of the above provisions, it seems to suggest that there is no such provision that recognized the issue of child marriage although it is lawful and practiced in Malaysia. The right of a child is automatically diminished once they get married. Once they are married, their right is no longer protected under the child act because it is said to be under the responsibilities of husband which is not stated in child act.
Therefore it is not known whether child bride are able to enjoy the same rights and protection as any other children in this country. [continues]
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