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In the Philipines, one girl in six is married off before the age of 18, but now the end of child marriage could be here, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
A new law makes it illegal to marry or cohabit with someone under 18 years of age. Anyone who breaks this law risks twelve years in prison. The guardian who marries off his child is also fined 50,000 pesos (approximately $975).
According to Unicef, twelve million girls in the world are married off every year, so there is still a lot to do, but now at least hundreds of thousands of Filipino girls will escape that fate.
"This is a historic step toward criminalizing child marriage that has trapped Filipino girls in unwanted pregnancies and abuse," said Arlene Brosas, a lawmaker and one of the authors of the bill, in a comment to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
According to a report by the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, 26.4 percent of married girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have reported being abused at home. So by preventing child marriage, the Philippines also hopes to reduce the risk of girls being physically or sexually abused at home.