UNDP hosts a workshop on preventing child marriage at Parliament. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament Website, HO)
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A draft law to establish the legal age of marriage in Lebanon at 18 will be presented to Cabinet next week, following a workshop on the prevention of child marriage held Thursday at Parliament.Marriage in Lebanon is governed by religious rather than civil courts.There is currently no law in the penal code that stipulates a minimum age of marriage. The number of child marriages has steadily increased across the Middle East in recent years, with many such marriages contracted between Syrian refugees.Layla Awada, a lawyer for women's rights NGO KAFA, reminded attendees at Thursday's workshop that child marriage left children at their guardians' mercy.Fakhreddine points out that combatting the issue of child marriage will play a significant role in achieving the U.N.'s 17 sustainable development goals, the fifth of which stipulates the need to eliminate child marriage as a key step toward promoting gender equality.
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