Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) has successfully stopped an attempts to marry off a 14-year-old girl in al-Badary, Assiut, some 350km south of Cairo.
Sahar al-Sunbati, Secretary-General of the NCCM, said that the Council was alerted through the child helpline 16000, by a call from a neighbour who refused to give his name, of the intention of the underage girl’s father to marry her off. The youngest age at which a woman can marry in Egypt is 18.
The NCCM collaborated with local officials and social workers in Assiut to verify the report and stop the marriage. It was found that the wedding was already taking place that evening. The police intervened, and the wedding ceremony was halted. At Badary Prosecution, the girl’s father and the groom signed a legal pledge to take care of the girl and not let her marry till she reaches the legal marriage age of 18.
The Child Protection Committee in Assiut advised the girl’s parents of the physical and psychological and physical harms of child marriage, and of the legal rights of the girl child.
Ms Sunbati thanked the Public Prosecutor, and the officials at the Child-Rescue office for their prompt response to the NCCM’s notifications. She also expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Interior for its efforts in child protection.
“The NCCM stands firm against harmful practices and childhood violations,” Ms Sunbati noted. She called on all to promptly report any such cases through the 24/7 child helpline 16000; the WhatsApp number 01102121600; or the official web page of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.
31 October 2021