What Is The Impact of Ukuthwala on Young Girls and Their Legal Rights?

What Is The Impact of Ukuthwala on Young Girls and Their Legal Rights?

Ukuthwala, an age-old practice, has profound effects on girls who are taken from their homes. It’s crucial to recognize how these actions disrupt the lives of these young girls. They not only face immediate challenges but also confront potential long-term health and psychological issues. For instance, early forced marriages can increase the likelihood of early pregnancies, expose them to sexual health risks, and escalate the chances of contracting infections like HIV.

Legal Protection for Children Involved in Ukuthwala

The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 provides significant protection to children who may be victims of practices like Ukuthwala. The law stresses that the child’s best interest is paramount and sets the legal age for marriage at 18. Any actions that go against these stipulations, especially involving minors under 18, are deemed criminal.

Available Legal Solutions for Ukuthwala Victims

The Domestic Violence Act provides avenues for young girls to obtain protection orders against their abductors and any associated parties. From a Criminal Law perspective, there are severe charges such as human trafficking, assault, and kidnapping that can be pressed. In cases where the marriage has occurred due to Ukuthwala, Family Law provides the option for annulment. Moreover, under Civil Law, victims can seek compensation for emotional trauma, medical bills, and missed educational opportunities.

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