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Antigua and Barbuda

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

There is no publicly available government data on child marriage in Antigua and Barbuda.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that women and girls are somehow inferior to men and boys.

There is very limited information on child marriage in Antigua and Barbuda.

What has this country committed to?

Antigua and Barbuda has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Antigua and Barbuda ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1989, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2017 review, the UN Child Rights Committee expressed concern that Antigua and Barbuda’s Marriage Act includes exceptions that allow marriage from the age of 16. It recommended that the government remove these.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

The minimum age of marriage in Antigua and Barbuda is 15 years. Under the Marriage Act 1994, parties aged 15-18 may marry with parental consent.


UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined second to fourth periodic reports of Antigua and Barbuda, 2017, p.4, (accessed May 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old (UNICEF State of the World’s Children, 2017)