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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
4%

* 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: World Bank

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
4%

* 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?

4% of girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina are married before their 18th birthday.
Child marriage is most prevalent in Brčko district.

Although experts note that child marriages peaked during the 1990s in Kosovo as a result of the Yugoslav conflict, by contrast, rates appeared to have fallen since the 1990s in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, child marriage is also driven by:

What has this country committed to?

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

Bosnia and Herzegovina co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts, and the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution to end child, early and forced marriage, recognising that it is a violation of human rights.

Bosnia and Herzegovina co-sponsored the 2013, 2014 and 2016 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and the 2013 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage. In 2014, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

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

During its 2014 Universal Periodic Review, Bosnia and Herzegovina agreed to examine recommendations to reduce child marriage, including by addressing significant school drop-out rates among Roma children and prosecuting people found trafficking ethnic girls into marriage.

During its 2013 review, the CEDAW Committee raised concerns about the prevalence of child marriage within Roma communities and the lack of sustained, concrete action taken by the government to address this.

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

Romalen, UNFPA and UNICEF have developed a play to involve communities in discussion around child marriage and its effects. Ruža has been performed in six municipalities with large Roma populations, and local authorities, police officers, social workers and teachers have been encouraged to attend performances.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

The minimum age of marriage is 18 years for girls and boys. However an authorised court can, in out-of-court procedure, allow minors older than 16 to enter into marriage.

Source

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, (accessed April 2018)

The Agency for Statistics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2011-2012, Final Report, 2013, (accessed May 2018)

UNFPA, Child Marriage in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Overview), 2014, (accessed May 2018)

UNFPA, Child marriage in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: regional overview, 2015, (accessed June 2018)

UNFPA, Drama helps battle child marriage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, [website], 2018, (accessed May 2018)

UNICEF, The Rights of Roma Children and Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia: A comparative review and further analysis of findings from MICS surveys in Roma settlements in the three countries, 2015, (accessed May 2018)

UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013, p.13, (accessed May 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2014, p.19, (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)