She told the Guardian that banning marriage with parental consent would protect young people from being coerced into early marriage – after being groomed or because they lack the will or capacity to report a forced marriage.
Official figures of those marrying at 16 and 17 in England and Wales have fallen steadily over the years, with 43 teenage boys and 140 teenage girls marrying with parental consent in 2017. Scottish law allows marriage from age 16 without parental consent, but numbers are low, with just 118 16-19-year-olds marrying in 2019.
However, the recorded data does not reflect the number of children who are marrying in religious and customary ceremonies.
Latham said: “While these marriages are not recognised under British law, they can be just as harmful, or even more so, for the young person involved.”