26th September 2020
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Torit court finds three men guilty of child marriage

Author: Lugala Mullai | Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2019

A victim of child marriage in West Africa | Credit | Girls Not Brides

A Torit court has sentenced to three years in jail, three men, for marrying off an underage girl in Kapoeta.

This was confirmed by Josephine Chandiru – the executive director of the advocacy group- The Steward Women – an organization offering free legal aid services to women and girls.

She told Eye Radio on Monday that Torit High Court Judge – Obac Denyong – presided over the case in which the father of the unnamed 15-year-old girl, her uncle and the alleged husband were found guilty of marrying off the girl child.

The suitor is said to be a 28-year-old man.

Under section 23 of the South Sudan Child act 2008 and section 247 of the penal code 2008, child marriage is a crime and is punishable by law.

In reference to these provisions, on 26 June, the Torit High Court sentenced the three men to three years in prison respectively.

Josephine Chandiru described the judgment as historic, saying it is the first positive ruling over the case of child marriage in the country.

“This judgment is very important because it is the first time in the history of South Sudan that the statutory law has been declared as supreme over customary law,” said Ms. Chandiru.

“The judgment will also deter other communities that also practice early and forced marriage.”

The Steward Women Organization is working with communities to ensure that cases related to violation of the rights of women and girls are brought to court and a due process of the law if followed to the letter.

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