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Spain raises minimum marriage age from 14 to 16

Spain has raised the minimum age for marriage from 14 to 16 to boost protection of minors and bring the country into line with its European Union neighbours.

The legislation came into effect today and follows recommendations from United Nations experts and child protection groups.

Spanish law had previously allowed boys and girls to marry at 14 with permission from a judge.

It was one of the lowest minimum ages in the European Union, with most members setting it at 16.

But the change will affect few as national statistics show only a handful of 14-year-olds married each year.

Spain also recently raised the minimum age for consent to sexual relations from 13 to 16.

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