Proposed Prohibition of Child Marriage Bill; Sierra Leone Takes Bold Steps to End Child Marriage

Monday 29 April 2024

Sierra Leone is making significant strides in the fight against child marriage, with the government and key stakeholders joining forces to address this critical issue. Led by First Lady Fatima Bio, the country is taking concrete actions to protect its children and ensure they have the opportunity to thrive.

In a recent high-level consultative meeting, stakeholders discussed the proposed Prohibition of Child Marriage Bill, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive child protection systems. This bill aims to provide a legal framework to safeguard children from the harmful effects of early marriage, aligning with international agreements such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The meeting highlighted alarming statistics, revealing that nearly three in ten girls in Sierra Leone are married before the age of 18. Early marriage not only deprives girls of their childhood but also hampers their education and future opportunities.

First Lady Fatima Bio emphasized the urgent need to prioritize the rights of children, stating that child marriage is akin to legalizing rape. She shared her personal commitment to championing laws that protect children, urging stakeholders to work together towards this common goal.

The proposed bill represents a significant step forward in ensuring the well-being of Sierra Leone's children. Subsequent meetings will be held to ensure that every relevant detail is discussed before the bill is tabled in parliament.