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Belize

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
3%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
26%

* 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)

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
3%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
26%

* 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?

26% of girls in Belize are married before their 18th birthday and 3% are married before the age of 15.

Child marriage is most prevalent in Toledo (where 46% of women aged 20-49 were married before the age of 18), Corozal (35%) and Orange Walk (31%).

Child marriage is most common among the Maya and Mestizo ethnic groups.

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 quite limited information on child marriage in Belize, but available studies show that it is driven by:

What has this country committed to?

Belize has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. During its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum, the government highlighted that child marriage generally occurs among the Mestizo and Maya in the Cayo and Toledo districts, indicating that the practice is tied to cultural ideas.

Belize ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1990, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2013 Universal Periodic Review, Belize agreed to examine recommendations to reduce child marriage by amending legislation in line with its international obligations.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Belize Marriage Amendment Act 2005 the minimum age of marriage is 18 years. However individuals can be married at 16 years with parental consent.

Source

Government of Belize, Belize’s Voluntary National Review for the Sustainable Development Goals 2017, 2017, (accessed May 2018)

Population Council, The Adolescent Experience In-Depth: Using Data to Identify and Reach the Most Vulnerable Young People, Belize, 2011, 2011, (accessed May 2018)

The Statistical Institute of Belize, Belize Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011, 2012, (accessed May 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Belize, 2013, p.21, (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)