The marriage of minors is authorised in the interest of these girls, declared the Justice Minister, Mustapha Ramid, to justify parliament's recent decision to defer by five years the recognition period for so-called "Fatiha" marriages.
In an interview with the newspaper Akhbar Al yaoum, the minister recalled that the majority of cases of these authorised marriages for girls who were minors were to legalise de facto unions that were formed following traditional marriages, solely by reading the Fatiha and the presence of witnesses. In recent years, the number of marriages of minors in Morocco has increased to reach 12% of all marriages in the country, which has led feminine organisations to denounce the fact that what the law envisaged as an exception has instead become the rule.
Mustapha Ramid said he understands "the good intentions of those who are opposed to the marriage of an underage girl," but for him "it is a minor who has been married before reaching majority age but finds herself in a situation of illegality, which not only threatens her interests, but also those of her children, if she has any."
According to the minister, insisting on rendering these de facto families illegal "could create more serious problems, such as the children losing their rights, as well as the mothers."Source