Dubai: A 12-year-old boy was made to marry an 11-year-old girl in Egypt, in the latest case of child marriage, sparking uproar among social media users in the country of 100 million.
Photos of the engagement party, which reportedly took place on September 17, have gone viral on social media.
The publicity promoted authorities to take swift action an hour after announcing the engagement in a village near Giza Governorate.
Security forces said they arrested the parents of the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be.
The celebration was cut short after pictures of the newlyweds were posted on social media, which led to security forces tracking down the details of the event.
The security forces found the parents, arrested them and referred them to prosecution for investigation, according to Egypt’s National Council for Childhood and Motherhood.
Child marriage is not uncommon in Egypt, which has the 13th highest incident rate globally. While couples can only officially register for marriage when both parties are 18, the practice continues with unregistered marriages in a custom known as urfi.
According to the NGO Girls Not Brides, child marriage impacts 17 per cent of girls in Egypt under the age of 18 and two per cent of girls under 15.
Egypt raised the minimum age to register for marriage by two years to 18 in 2008, according to The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood Child Rights Observatory.