The Southern African Development Community—SADC Parliamentary Forum has urged its member states to critically look into the SADC Model Law on Eradicating Child Marriage and Protecting Children already in marriage for better implementation.
According to the Forum’s Secretariat, poor harmonization of laws dealing with child marriages is one of the major areas requiring urgent attention to address child marriages in the region.
Speaking in an interview with Newsline, Communication and Advocacy Specialist for the SADC Parliamentary Forum Moses Magadza said Parliamentarians have an important role of paying much attention to the contents of the model law and things that uniquely affect circumstances in their communities.
According to the model, child marriage remains a problem in Southern Africa due to a variety of factors some of which include poverty, gender inequality and lack of adequate legal frameworks in member states most of which are inconsistent.
The model law also reveals that almost forty percent of children in the region are married before they reach the age of 18.
The SADC Parliamentary Forum is a platform that brings together fourteen national Parliaments of southern Africa, where Legislators in the region share ideas on how they can tackle issues that commonly affect people in the region.