(CARIBBEAN360) The Senate has passed a Bill that raises the legal age for marriage in Trinidad and Tobago to 18.
That age is currently the minimum for civil marriage in the twin-island republic, but Muslim girls as young as 12 can be married while the minimum age for Hindu marriages is age 16, and under the Orisha Marriage Act, girls can be married from 14 years old.
Last night, the Miscellaneous Provisions (Marriage) Bill, which would make 18 the legal age for marriage across the board, was passed with some amendments.
However, it did not have the support of the opposition United National Congress (UNC) Senators. They all abstained from the vote, along with one Independent Senator. 23 Senators voted yes.
The legislation now goes to the Lower House to be debated by Members of Parliament.
Trinidad and Tobago recorded close to 3,500 child marriages between 1999 and 2016, with marriage certificates showing that some girls as young as 11 and 12 were married to men as old as 36, 42, and 56.