Police in Burera District has warned parents of severe and punitive consequences for allowing or forcing under-aged children into marriage.
The call was made by Assistant Inspector of Police (AIP)Phelin Nshimyumukiza,the District Community Liaison Officer of Burera, while meeting women leaders of Bugarama and Cyanika sectors on Tuesday.
The meeting aimed at enlightening the leaders and elders on unlawful and harmful practices in families.
The law of the land does not allow any marital union before the age of 21.
Nshimiyumukiza observed that child marriages are among the causes of pregnancy complications and families that find themselves in this situation are likely to experience domestic violence.
Under the law, perpetrators of child marriages are punishable with imprisonment of about two years.
De la Croix Nsengiyumva, who is in charge of youth and culture in Burera, reiterated that education is “essential for girls to be able to make informed decisions about their well-being.”
Across the globe, according to UNICEF, the rates of child marriage are highest in sub-Saharan Africa, where around 4 in 10 girls marry before age 18, about one in eight were married or in union before age 15.
This is followed by Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa, where 24 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married in childhood.