The girls stand confidently and proudly as they walk out of the training centre.
Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 15
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 18
* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old.
* According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2016.
8% of girls in Trinidad and Tobago are married before the age of 18 .
Legal age of marriage
Four acts regulate the age of marriage in Trinidad and Tobago, leading to a number of inconsistencies:
- The Marriage Act of 1923, which governs Christian and civil marriages, sets the minimum age of marriage at 18 years but allows exceptions on religious grounds.
- The Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act sets the minimum age of marriage at 12 for girls and 16 for boys.
- The Hindu Marriage Act sets the age at 14 for girls and 18 for boys,
- The Orisa Marriage Act sets the age at 16 for girls and 18 for boys.
In January 2017, the Attorney General announced a bill to harmonize the country’s marriage laws and raise the legal minimum age of marriage to 18 years old, without exception. On 18 January 2017 this bill passed through the Senate and will now be debated by members of parliament in the Lower House .
In May 2016, child marriage was the subject of heated debate after the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) suggested that the country’s marriage laws should not be amended, despite allowing girls as young as 12 to get married.
 UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2016
 Global Voices, With one more vote, Trinidad and Tobago could ban child marriage, 20 January 2017.