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Azerbaijan

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
2%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
11%

* References

* 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)

Photo credit: Allison Kwesell | World Bank

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
2%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
11%

* References

* 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)

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

11% of girls in Azerbaijan are married before the age of 18 and 2% are married before their 15th birthday.

Rates of child marriage are highest in villages on the Absheron peninsula in the southern region (Lenkaran, Lerik, Yardimly, Masally), northern (Guba) regions, on the border with Iran, and in the Absheron, Sabunchu, Nardaran, Garadagh and Azizbekov districts of the country’s capital, Baku.

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

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In Azerbaijan, child marriage also driven by:

What has this country committed to?

Azerbaijan has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. During its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum, the government stated that the Family Code has been amended and the minimum age of marriage for girls has increased to 18. As a result, the number of child marriages has reportedly decreased from 5,138 in 2011 to 388 in 2015.

Azerbaijan co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts.

Azerbaijan acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1992, 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 1995, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2018 Universal Periodic Review, the Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women expressed concern about the prevalence of child marriage in rural regions and among IDPs, as well as the practice of unregistered religious marriages and forced marriage among extended families.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

A pilot awareness-raising campaign was implemented in Masalli and Lankaran districts, supporting police officers, mullahs and community elders to collect information on child marriage and inform families about the law and consequences of the practice.

The State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Issues, with support from UNICEF Azerbaijan and the International Centre for Social Studies, conducted a study on child marriage in 2008.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

According to the Family Code Of Azerbaijan Republic 2002 the legal age of marriage for men and women is 18 years. However, the minimum age of marriage can be reduced by one year with permission from the local executive power.

Source

Aljazeera, Nagorno-Karabakh: Contested narratives, [website], 2016, (accessed April 2018)

Azerbaijan State Committee on Family, Women and Children’s Issues, UNICEF Azerbaijan and the International Centre for Social Research, Research Report on Child Marriage in Azerbaijan, 2008, (accessed February 2018)

Government of Azerbaijan, Voluntary National Review of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the first steps in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Drafted for submission to the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, 2017, (accessed February 2018)

Public Health and Reforms Center, Ministry of Health, Azerbaijan Demographic and Health Survey 2011, 2012, (accessed February 2018)

UNFPA, Child Marriage in Azerbaijan (Overview), 2014, (accessed February 2018)

UNICEF, Child Marriage: Broken dreams of Azerbaijani girls, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)

UNICEF Azerbaijan, UNICEF appeals Azerbaijan to return to senior age for marriage to protect children’s rights, [website], 2010, (accessed May 2018)

UN General Assembly, Compilation on Azerbaijan, Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2018, p.6, p.7, (accessed April 2018)

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

Women’s Association for Rational Development, Shadow report to the CEDAW Committee on Azerbaijan, 2015, (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)