Today, the legal age of marriage in England and Wales will rise to 18, protecting vulnerable children from the damaging impact of forced marriages.
Forced marriage is an abuse on human rights which denies vulnerable children the freedom to learn, grow and thrive.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership Act 2022 has come into force today. 16 and 17 year olds will no longer be allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership, even if they have parental consent. Those who act to manipulate children into marrying under-age will face the full force of the law.
The change will crack down on forced marriages and forms part of our continued commitment to tackle violence against women and girls.