Child Marriages Persist in Malaysia
Monday, August 8, 2011 10:55 AM

Despite Malaysia's reputation as a progressive nation, child marriages persist in the country. Although the statistics are difficult to obtain, it has been estimated that in 2009, 477 girls under the age of 15 had HIV screening, a requirement for Malay Muslims planning on marrying.  Furthermore, the UN's country report on HIV/AIDS found that 6,815 girls between the ages of 15-19 underwent the screening.
According to some rights groups, child marriage most often occurs as a result of economnic reasons.  Others note that under Malaysia's Islamic law, marriages of girls under 16 are allowed with the permission of the Syariah Court. Groups have asked the Malaysian government to review the plural legal systems which are the justification for this severe human rights violation. 
Compiled from: Thin Lei Win, “Child Marriage Persists in Progressive Malaysia,” TrustLaw, (3 Aug. 2011).