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Cablegate: Maldives: Child Marriage Not Common

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

040921Z Apr 05

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000654

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS AND G/IWI FOR KHADIAGALA
NSC FOR DORMANDY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM ECON ELAB PGOV SCUL SOCI KWMN
SUBJECT: MALDIVES: CHILD MARRIAGE NOT COMMON

REF: STATE 36341

1. SUMMARY. CHILD MARRIAGE IS NOT A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM IN
THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES. UNDER CIVIL LAW, THE LEGAL AGE OF
MARRIAGE IN MALDIVES IS 18 YEARS OLD, WHICH APPLIES TO BOTH
BOYS AND GIRLS. HOWEVER, UNDER EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES, A
FATHER MAY REQUEST THE COURT TO WED TWO PEOPLE BELOW THIS
AGE. STATISTICS ARE NOT CURRENT BUT INSTANCES OF CHILD
MARRIAGE ARE INFREQUENT SINCE THE FAMILY CODE WENT INTO
EFFECT IN 2001. END SUMMARY.

2. ANSWERS TO SPECIFIC QUESTIONS POSED BY REFTEL FOLLOW:

A. THE FAMILY CODE, IN EFFECT SINCE 2001, SETS THE LEGAL
AGE OF MARRIAGE IN MALDIVES FOR BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS AT 18
YEARS OLD. A FATHER MAY PETITION THE COURT TO WED COUPLES
BELOW THIS AGE UNDER EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

B. UNDERAGE MARRIAGE IN THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES IS NOT A
SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM IN THE POPULATION AT LARGE OR IN
SPECIFIC ETHNIC OR MINORITY GROUPS.

C. THERE ARE NO U.S. FUNDED INITIATIVES IN THE REPUBLIC OF
MALDIVES THAT AIM TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OR ADDRESS EFFECTS
OF CHILD MARRIAGE.

LUNSTEAD

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