The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) has stopped the engagement of two children in Gharbiya governorate, NCCM Secretary General Azza al-Ashmawy said.
A statement from Ashmawy on Saturday said that the council noticed photos and reports on social media for an engagement ceremony between two children, aged 15 and 12 years-old, in Kafr Hassan village of Sammanoud city in Gharbiya.
According to Ashmawy, the NCCM’s child helpline notified its committee about the incident, after which the council’s General Committee for Child Protection in Gharbiya was instructed to investigate.
The NCCM’s office in the governorate was then tasked to take due process.
Ashmawy pointed out that the Public Prosecution has been informed to take action to prevent the completion of this marriage until children reach the legal age of 18 years.
She stressed that it is unacceptable to involve children in any acts that eliminate their innocence and childhood.
Representatives from the council visited the children’s parents and provided advice to them, after which the parents promised that the two children would not get married before the legal age, in accordance with the Civil Status Act and the Children’s Code.
An official report from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2018 found that 117,000 children between 10 and 18 in Egypt are (or have been) married, despite a national campaign against the phenomenon.
Upper Egypt accounted for the highest percentage of child marriages and divorces in the report. Outskirt areas such as the Red Sea, Sinai, Marsa Matrouh and Aswan recorded a much lower 1.3 percent.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm