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 Brunei Darussalam.
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 Brunei Darussalam.
What has this country committed to?
Brunei Darussalam has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Brunei Darussalam acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1995, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2006, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
Brunei Darussalam has committed to the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Violence against Children (2013), which acknowledges the importance of strengthening ASEAN efforts to protect children from all forms of violence, including child marriage.
During its 2016 review, the UN Child Rights Committee expressed deep concern about the minimum age of marriage in Brunei, including 14 under customary law, 15 for ethnic Chinese and no explicit definition for Muslims. It urged the government to review and amend legislation and set the minimum age of marriage to 18 for both girls and boys.
During its 2014 Universal Periodic Review, Brunei Darussalam agreed to examine recommendations to raise the minimum age of marriage for women.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
The legal minimum age of marriage for both boys and girls is 14 years with parental and participant consent, unless otherwise stipulated by religion or custom under the law.
ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children, The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Elimination of Violence against Children in ASEAN, 2013, (accessed February 2018)
UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined second and third periodic reports of Brunei Darussalam, 2016, p.4, (accessed May 2018)
UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Brunei Darussalam, 2014, p.20, (accessed May 2018)
United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, (accessed February 2018)
United States State Department Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, Brunei, 2018, (accessed May 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)