New York State’s legislators and governor should back a proposed law to help end child marriage in New York, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to New York lawmakers. In the period from 2001 to 2010, 3,850 children under the age of 18 married in New York State.
Child marriage is any marriage of a person under the age of 18. Under current law, the minimum age of marriage in New York is 18, but the law permits exceptions to that minimum age, allowing children age 16 and 17 to marry with parental approval, and 14- and 15-year-olds to marry if they have permission from a judge in addition to their parents. The vast majority of US states permit marriage before the age of 18 under some circumstances.