From left, Chrisitan Oussi, Samira Aghacy, Fadi Karam, Zoya Ruhana and Judge Fawzi Khamis attend the launching of a campaign to protect minors from early marriage at LAU in Beirut, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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The National Commission for Lebanese Women Tuesday launched a campaign to fight underage marriage, an initiative that legal experts anticipate will engender backlash from religious authorities.Karam said the campaign, which is still in its early stages, would lobby for the government to sign and ratify the Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages and work to adopt of a law raising the minimum marriageable age to 18, a motion that would, ideally, supersede personal status laws which currently govern legal procedures pertaining to such matters.There is no minimum age of marriage that applies universally to all Lebanese, rather the different sects' personal status laws define the legal age of consent.A preliminary study carried out by Tabet and Khamis found that many Lebanese men were seeking underage Syrian girls for the purpose of marriage.
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