Time, October 11, 2017
Eli Meixler

Links

Read the Full Article

India's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that sex with an underage wife constitutes rape, in a landmark ruling that campaigners say could affect millions of girls.

The decision overturned a previous clause that permitted men to have sex with a married girl as young as 15, the Indian Express reports.

India's age of consent is 18 and child marriage is illegal, but the practice persists in many parts of the country. According to Girls Not Brides — a coalition of NGOs working to end child marriage — 47% of Indian girls are married by the age of 18.

Marital rape is not recognized as a crime in India, but sex with a child under 18 is considered rape. Under the new ruling, girls who are raped by their husbands can bring charges within one year of the offense.

The ruling was praised by rights advocates, who noted it coincided with International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 11. [...]

criminal law global health international judicial opinions pediatrics regulation reproductive rights