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Chad

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
30%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
67%
International Ranking*

3

* 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 Vision | Boutaida

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
30%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
67%
International Ranking*

3

* 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?

In Chad, 67% of girls are married before the age of 18 and 30% are married before the age of 15.

According to UNICEF, Chad has the third highest prevalence rate of child marriage in the world.

Child marriage is most common in Guéra, Lac, Chari Baguirmi, Sila and Mayo Kebbi Est.

Chad hosts 408,607 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria and Sudan, as well as 96,000 returnees from CAR, which has strained local resources. Severe droughts and Boko Haram’s drive to gain territory in the Lake Chad Basin has led to further displacement and food insecurity, which may drive some girls to be married off as children.

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 Chad, child marriage is also driven by:

What has this country committed to?

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

Chad co-sponsored the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution to end child, early and forced marriage, recognising that it is a violation of human rights.

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

Chad ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, 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.

In 2015 President Idriss Deby and First Lady Hinda Deby launched the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa.

In 2000, Chad ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.

In 2004 Chad signed, but has not yet ratified, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, including Article 6 which sets the minimum age for marriage as 18.

During its 2013 Universal Periodic Review, Chad agreed to consider recommendations to ensure that girls in refugee camps are truly protected against child marriage.

In 2011 the CEDAW Committee urged Chad to undertake awareness-raising activities throughout the country on the negative effects of child marriage.

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

In June 2016 the government adopted a roadmap to ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (2016-2018). The strategy has four strategic areas of focus:

  • Coordination, monitoring and evaluation
  • Social mobilisation and advocacy
  • Capacity-building
  • Multi-sectoral response

A thematic working group, created by the Ministry of Women, Social Action and National Solidarity, is responsible for implementing the action plan. The group is composed of line ministries, civil society, the police and the judiciary, human rights and gender-based organisations, religious authorities and UN agencies.

In December 2016 First Lady Hinda Deby launched the second edition of her five year agenda dedicated to women and children (2016-2020). The agenda covers three pillars, including child marriage.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

In 2015, the Parliament of Chad approved an ordinance signed by President Idriss Deby to increase the age of marriage from 15 to 18 years old. However conflicts with other laws mean the minimum age of marriage younger than 18. According to Article 277 of the Criminal code, customary law marriages of girls above 13 years are legal.

Source

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)

African Union, Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa: Call to Action, 2013, (accessed February 2018)

Ford Foundation, Mapping Early Marriage in West Africa, 2013,  (accessed April 2018)

Information Parlour, Traditional Marriage in Fulani Kingdom, [website], undated, (accessed April 2018)

Institut National de la Statistique, des Études Économiques et Démographiques, Ministère de la Santé Publique et ICF International, Enquête Démographique et de Santé et à Indicateurs Multiples, 2014-2015, 2015(accessed April 2018)

International Rescue Committee, Lake Chad Basin Crisis: An Analysis of Violence against Women, Children and Displaced Populations in the region, 2017, (accessed April 2018)

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

République du Tchad Ministère du Plan, de l’Economie et de la Coopération Internationale et Institut National de la Statistique, des Études Économiques et Démographiques, Enquête par grappes à indicateurs multiples TCHAD 2010, 2011, (accessed April 2018)

UNICEF, Chad, 2018, (accessed April 2018)

UN CEDAW, Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: Chad, 2011, p.5, (accessed April 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Chad, 2014, p.20, (accessed April 2018)

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

United States State Department, Country Human Rights Report: Chad, 2010, (accessed April 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)