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Wednesday 19 September 2018
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Legal experts to decide on child bride’s future

Legal experts assigned to the Immigration Department are working closely with the Children’s Authority and Child Protection Unit to decide on the future of the 13-year-old Venezuelan girl who was rescued from a Penal Rock Road house two weeks ago.

Sources at the Immigration Department said the removal of the teenager from the house and the facts surrounding her presence in this country is unprecedented and they may also have to seek guidance from immigration authorities from North America on how to proceed in this matter.

Officers of the Counter Trafficking Unit said yesterday this matter is not linked to trafficking because of the information given by the teenager and said the matter is now squarely in the hands of the Immigration Department.

The teenager remained at a safe house run by the Living Water Community and she remains under the supervision of counsellors of the Children’s Authority.

An interpretor who has been assigned to the teenager has told Child Protection officers that the teen refuses to co-operate and give pertinent information. She continues to insist that she is a married woman and is anxious to be reunited with her husband.

Two Thursdays ago officers of the South Western Division led by Sgt Ablacksingh went to a house on Penal Rock Road where they detained a Jamaican man in a house and also rescued the 13-year-old Warahoon girl who was in another apartment. She told police through an interperator that she was married under tribal rites in Venezuela and was brought to this country by boat. She said her husband is a Trinidadian man who promised her a better life. The man is reported to be in hiding.

The Marriage Bill which was introduced and read for the first time in the Senate on December 19 by Attorney General Faris Al Rawi, amended chapters and lines in the Marriage Act, the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, the Hindu Marriage Act and the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act.

The amendments limited the age to be married without consent to the age of 16 and the consent for people wanting to be married between the age of 16 and 18.

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