The police in Juba are investigating a man for allegedly facilitating and forcing his 15-year-old daughter into marriage.
The man, whose identity has been concealed, was arrested after the minor’s lawyer filed a police case at the Northern Division station in Juba.
Volunteer Advocate Josephine Adhet who represented the girl as a complainant, said the girl’s father violated section 24 of the South Sudan Child Act 2011, which talks about the Right to Protection from Marriage and other Negative and Harmful Cultural and Social Practices.
The lawyer alleged that the girl’s father was pressured by his elder brother who lives in America to marry off the minor to another man.
“The girl told me that her father and her uncle, who is in America had agreed to marry her to a man she doesn’t know, and she is still young,” said the complainant’s lawyer.
“So, I took the girl to the police station and I opened a police case as a complainer. He (father) is now in jail and the investigation still going on.”
The teenager is a primary eight (8) pupil at a school in Juba.
Speaking to Eye Radio on Sunday, Advocate Josephine Adhet appealed to the government to provide a secure shelter for the girl, saying she has no capability to do that.
When contacted, national Police Spokesperson Major General Daniel Justin confirmed the arrest and says the case is awaiting further investigation.
The police official disclosed that his office frequently receives cases of early and forced marriage.
“Actually the cases of earlier marriages in the countryside have become so rampant. So, this young girl came to an advocate and they launched a case yesterday at Northern Division,” said Daniel Justin.
“The warrant of arrest was issued yesterday, and the investigations are ongoing. I also confirmed the arrest of the father now.”
Section 23 of the South Sudan Child Act 2011 says every child has the right to be protected from early marriage, forced circumcision, scarification, tattooing, piercing, tooth removal, or any other cultural rite and custom.
The law also says children must also be protected against traditional practices that are likely to negatively affect their child’s life, health, welfare, dignity or physical, emotional, psychological, mental and intellectual development.
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