Malaysian men can no longer marry young girls in south Thailand as underaged unions are banned there


BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Thailand's Islamic council has – for the first time in history – issued a ban on child marriage nationwide.

This followed public anger sparked by the marriage earlier this year of an 11-year-old child to a man four times her age.

The Central Islamic Council of Thailand (CICOT)’s new regulation bans children under the age of 17 from marriage.

The new regulation would be announced to all mosques,

Wisut Binlateh, director of the coordination centre for the Sheikhul Islam Office and a senior member of the Islamic Council, told the online Benar News. 

Wisut also said that the Sheikhul Islam of Thailand Aziz Phitakkumpon, who also chairs CICOT, had given his approval for the new regulation in late November.

Panadda Isho, legal specialist at the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre (SBPAC), also told Benar News that SBPAC would translate the new regulation into Bahasa Melayu and publicise the information through seminars.

The new regulation ensures local mosques cannot grant permission for marriages involving anyone aged under 17 unless an Islamic court gives permission or the parents sign a document approving the marriage at the provincial Islamic committee office or at the local police station, Panadda told Benar.

A special sub-committee was also set up to consider marriages involving children younger than 17, and give the green light if the marriage benefits the spouses. 

One of the three committee members must be a woman with knowledge of Islamic laws and she must be in charge of questioning and interviewing the girl. 

The historic move ends a widespread practice in the southern Muslim-majority provinces where girls were married off by poor parents with the permission of the local mosque once the girl had started menstruating. 

In the southern provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Satun, Islamic laws were used in place of the Civil Code for family matters and inheritance. The law does not specify the minimum age for marriage unlike the Civil Code, applied elsewhere in the Kingdom, which has set the minimum age at 17. The loophole allowed many Malaysian men to take much younger girls as wives from Thailand, and local imams benefited monetarily from the loopholes, activist Sanphasit Koompraphant previously told The Nation. 

National Human Rights Commissioner Angkhana Neelapai-jit, meanwhile, said the Islamic Council’s move was not enough. Without penalties set for violators, the regulation is more like “asking for cooperation,” she told The Nation. - The Nation/Asia News Network 

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 0
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Regional

King presents letters of appointment to 21 judges
At least 68 killed in Nepal's worst air crash in 30 years (update)
Magnitude 6.2 earthquake hits off west coast of Sumatra, no tsunami alert
Sabah's GRS-led govt collapses after BN withdraws support
Police determining authenticity of daredevil duo's Merdeka 118 video
Batang Kali landslide: Site not listed as critical slope, says Minerals and Geoscience Dept
Batang Kali landslide: 'I will be your son in the next life', says son in touching tribute to late mother
Tommy Thomas insisted that MACC prosecute Shahrir despite incomplete investigation, court told
Batang Kali landslide: We will not shirk responsibility, says campsite operator
Batang Kali landslide: Search temporarily halted due to continuous rain

Others Also Read