Thailand Legal Age Marriage

Educational attainment: 32% of Thai women without education were married before the age of 18, compared to only 3% who had completed higher education. Teenage pregnancy: Teenage pregnancy is a driver of child marriage in Thailand and is associated with a high unmet need for comprehensive sexuality education and family planning, especially among indigenous communities. Unlike in South Asia, where early marriage usually provides the means for socially sanctioned sex, teenage pregnancy quickly leads to it, an unplanned pregnancy in Thailand often leads to early marriage or union due to stigma. Poverty: The 2015-16 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey showed that 30% of women in Thailand`s poorest households were married 18 years ago, compared to 10% of richest households. Many young girls are married so that families can collect the bride price and reduce the perceived financial burden on families. Traditional harmful practices: Common practices encourage child marriage in rural areas where laws and regulations are less enforced or monitored. In these areas, young women take on household chores from an early age, which is seen as a sign of their “preparation” for adulthood and marriage. Sexual violence against girls: The Penal Code stipulates that girls between the ages of 13 and 15 may be married off to their abuser in cases of sexual violence so that the perpetrator can avoid criminal punishment. In a small village in Pattani`s Sai Buri district, women spoke about the extent of forced marriages of minors in southern Thailand. They described characters known as “moderators” who come to the village on behalf of men looking for a young woman.

If you have any issues that you would like Expat Counsel to investigate, please contact us at You should allow four working days in Bangkok before registering your marriage, as you must reside in Thailand at least three days before your wedding and allow time to process the paperwork in Bangkok. It also allows you to visit some of Bangkok`s wonderful attractions. One day this summer, Ayu, 11, married Che Abdul Karim Che Hamid, 41, in a small pink mosque on the banks of the Golok River in Thailand`s far south. Earlier in the morning, Che Abdul Karim and his bride-to-be had crossed the border from Malaysia to Thailand`s Narathiwat province for the wedding. After a brief ceremony at 11 a.m. and a trip to the offices of the Islamic Council to have their marriage certificate stamped, the couple crossed the border to return. Ayu was now Che Abdul Karim`s third wife. Since 2003, under Thailand`s strict child protection laws, no person under the age of 17 can marry and sexual relations with a minor are a criminal offence. In Thailand`s southern provinces – the Muslim-majority Narathiwat, Pattani and Yalla – there is a loophole for Muslim communities to apply Islamic law to family matters. The loophole has also created what Thai child rights activist Anchana Heemmina has called the “big cross-border marriage enterprise” – Malaysian men entering southern Thailand to easily enter into underage or polygamous marriages for which approval in Malaysia would be impossible or a very lengthy process.

Section 1448. A marriage (in Thailand according to Thai marriage and family laws) can only take place when both the man and woman have reached the age of seventeen. The court may, however, allow them to marry before reaching that age if there is a valid reason. In Malaysia, where men can legally marry girls under the age of 18 if approved by the Islamic Sharia Court, Ayu`s case has provoked a national outcry in parliament and street protests. But across the border, in Thailand, where the disputed unification took place, the reaction from the government and religious authorities was remarkably moderate. From a legal point of view, sin suan tua includes property belonging to one of the spouses before marriage, personal property such as clothing and jewellery, tools used by a particular spouse for business or commerce, and property acquired by an unmarried spouse by will or gift. The fruits of separate property are common goods. Marriage: Legal Requirements and Conditions for Marriage Registration and Marriage Validity in Thailand Under Thai Family Law Child marriages are more common in northern and northeastern Thailand and in rural areas.

The practice is also particularly lucrative for imams practicing on the Thai side of the Golok River, who charge four times more to marry a Malaysian visitor than for people in their own community. In Malaysia, Che Abdul Karim reportedly had difficulty or impossibility in obtaining permission to marry Ayu; In Thailand, he simply paid the imam 4,500 baht (105 pounds), and it is done. Since then, he has been fined 1,800 ringgit (£340) by a Sharia court in Malaysia after pleading guilty to polygamy and performing the marriage without court permission. Angkhana also said that because Thailand`s four southern provinces use Islamic law for family matters, a loophole in the law has allowed an increase in the number of Malaysian men coming to southern Thailand for a second or third marriage, as there is little scrutiny over what they experience at home. Regardless of the pomp and ceremony, the marriage can only be consummated if both parties register their intention with their local district office. Marriage contracts must be attested by at least two other persons and registered at the same time as the marriage. The agreement then becomes part of the marriage registration. A marriage contract concluded after the marriage registration must be approved by a court, which can then order the district office to notarize the agreement. Section 1449. A marriage cannot take place if the man or woman is mentally ill or is deemed incapable. According to this law, there is no minimum age for marriage and culturally, girls are considered eligible once they start menstruating.

In this way, child marriage has continued as an unregulated norm and as a solution to early pregnancy and rape, with the Thai government seemingly turning a blind eye. Like any other special occasion, the wedding requires a lot of preparation. If you are planning to get married in Thailand, you need to familiarize yourself with various processes and laws. Getting legal assistance from a local lawyer is the best way to ensure that your marriage carries weight in Thailand and abroad and ensures compliance with Thai legal parameters. It may seem tedious at first, but rest assured that you`ve done a lot of the work. After all, you`ve already found love – it`s supposed to be the hardest part. Thailand is committed to the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Violence against Children (2013), which recognizes the importance of intensifying ASEAN`s efforts to protect children from all forms of violence, including early marriage. Section 1459. A marriage abroad between Thai nationals or between a Thai national and a foreigner may be solemnized in the form prescribed by Thai law or the law of the country in which it takes place. Thailand has co-sponsored the following Human Rights Council resolutions: the 2013 resolution on child, early and forced marriage, the 2015 resolution on the elimination of child, early and forced marriage, which recognizes that it constitutes a violation of human rights, the 2017 resolution recognizing the need to address child marriage, early and forced in humanitarian contexts, and the 2019 resolution on the consequences of child marriage.

If the spouses wish to register the marriage under Thai law, registration is done by a Thai diplomat or consular officer. Muslim communities can apply Islamic law to family matters because of a loophole in the law. Accordingly, local mosques may marry girls and boys aged 17 and under with the permission of the Islamic court or parents and after review by a special subcommittee. This report examines child marriage laws in 37 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and provides country profiles for each of these countries. Wannakanok Pohitaedaoh was forced into an abusive marriage at a young age and now runs Luk Riang, a children`s home in Narathiwat. She said: “The biggest problem with child marriage in Thailand is that no one wants to talk about it – not the Islamic Council, not the imams and not the government. It has always been swept under the carpet, and they want it to stay. Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are somehow inferior to men and boys. But across the Islamic world, there is a movement to ban child marriage. Algeria, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey have set the minimum age of marriage at 18, and recently Indonesia prepared a presidential decree to close loopholes that allow child marriage.

10% of boys in Thailand are married before the age of 18. This makes Thailand the country with the 11th highest prevalence rate of child marriage among boys in the world. A marriage may be concluded upon declaration by both parties who wish to marry by agreeing to appear publicly before the registrar as husband and wife in order to have them registered by the registrar. Consent to marriage can be given by: Before you do anything, contact us first.