Michigan Gets a Failing Grade on Child Marriage, Corporal Punishment Laws
An F. A failing grade. That's what Michigan gets for its laws concerning child marriage and corporal punishment in our state.
The scorecard issued today (9/13) by the watchdog group known as Human Rights Watch says Michigan fails when it comes to protecting the rights of children.
Why Does Michigan Get a Failing Grade?
The short answer to the question of why Michigan scores so low is that our state fails to protect children. Outdated laws allow child marriage in our state and corporal punishment has yet to be abolished in Michigan's private schools and homes. The group says Michigan also fails when it comes to protecting children entering the juvenile justice system.
Michigan law still allows 16 and 17-year-olds to get married if they have consent from a parent or guardian. Between the years 2000 and 2018, about 83% of the 5,259 marriages were between underage girls and adult men.
Michigan is Not Alone
Michigan is not the only state in the US to receive an abysmal rating. Believe it or not, Michigan is 42nd in the country, according to the Detroit Free Press. Michigan shares its F rating with 19 other US states.
Jo Becker co-authored the report submitted by Human Rights Watch, saying that many Americans are under the impression that state governments do what they should to protect children.
“Many Americans believe that our states and our laws protect children, but in fact, many of our laws are hopelessly out of date, and leave children all across the country vulnerable to child marriage, to violence (and) to exploitation,” Becker said. “I think our scorecard is going to be a wake-up call for how much we need legislative reform to really better protect children.”
More on the findings from Human Rights Watch is available here.