International Standards on Child Marriages

May 05, 2013

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 Article 16:

(1) Men and women of full age have the right to marry and found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

 

Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages 1964

Article 1: (1) No marriage shall be legally entered into without the full and free consent of both parties, such consent to be expressed by them in person in the presence of the [competent] authority as prescribed by law.

Article 2: States Parties […] shall take legislative action to specify a minimum age for marriage. No marriage shall be legally entered into by any person under this age, except where a competent authority has granted a dispensation as to age, for serious reasons, in the interests of the intending spouses.

Article 3: All marriages shall be registered in an appropriate official register by the competent authority.

 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 Article 23:

(3) No marriage shall be legally entered into without the full and free consent of the intending spouses.

(4) States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.

 

International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights 1966 Article 10:

(1) Marriage must be entered into with the free consent of the intending spouses.

 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women 1979 Article 16:

(1) States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:

(a) The same right to enter into marriage;

(b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent;

(c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;

(2) The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the registration of marriages in an official register compulsory.

 

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1999 Article 21:

(2) Child marriage and the betrothal of girls and boys shall be prohibited and effective action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify the minimum age of marriage to be 18 years and make registration of all marriages in an official registry compulsory.

 

American Convention on Human Rights 1969 Article 17:

(3) No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(4) The States Parties shall take appropriate steps to ensure the equality of rights and the adequate balancing of responsibilities of the spouses as to marriage, during marriage, and in the event of its dissolution. In case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children solely on the basis of their own best interests.