Unmarried couples in the East African country of Burundi have until the end of the year to legalize their relationships through church or state registrations.
In May, President Pierre Nkurunziza signed a new law which the government says will help protect women and create a more moral society, but some disagree.
The government insists a legal document recognizing a marriage helps protect women and their children, especially when it comes to issues such as inheritance.
“After December, punishment will be curled out towards those couples who are not legally married; Some of them may end up in court, or probably jailed if they do not respect the law.”, said Human Rights Minister, Martin Nivyabandi.
However, others say the new marriage law infringes on people’s religious beliefs, customs, and practices.
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