According to media reports, 14-year-olds may be soon allowed to get married in Russia. The constituent republic of Bashkortostan, a federal subject of Russia, is considering the possibility of lowering the age of consent and marriage to 14.
According to press secretary Ilgiz Abdullin, members of the State Assembly were thinking about it.
"The bill that opens up opportunities for marrying at fourteen will be considered in the first reading on Thursday," Abdullin told TASS News Agency. According to the Family Code of the Russian, the legal age for marriage is 18. However, it also recognizes the possibility of getting married at lower ages under special circumstances such as teen pregnancy.
According to TASS, 14-year-olds “regularly” get married in Bashkortostan. Even though the number of people getting married between 14 and 16 is relatively small, the number is reportedly rising.
In 2012, the number of recorded marriages where at least one of the partners is aged between 14 and 16 was 11. In 2013, it was 14, and the number was 21 in 2014.
Konstantin Tolkachev, however, believes lowering the legal age for marriage does not necessarily encourage early marriages. "On the contrary, they spell out a clear legal pattern (for permitting such marriages) that goes into effect only in very special circumstances, like pregnancy or birth of a child," the speaker of the Bashkortostani legislature said.
There are a number of laws in Russia that need to be changed, believe the critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
One such law, called the 'Dima Yakovlev' Law, does not allow US citizens to adopt Russian orphans. The law is named after a Russian toddler who died of heatstroke in the United States in 2008.