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 Chile.
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 Chile.
What has this country committed to?
Chile 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 the minimum age of marriage is 16, and those under 18 must obtain marriage authorisation by a relative as required by the law.
Chile co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 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, Chile signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.
Chile 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 1989, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
In 2018 the CEDAW Committee raised concerns that the draft law (Bulletin No. 9850-18) still permits marriages under the age of 18 in exceptional cases. It recommended that the government raise the minimum age for marriage to 18 years without exceptions.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Civil Marriage Law 2004, 18 years is the minimum age of marriage. However it is possible to marry at 16 years with parental consent.
Government of Chile, Informe Nacional Voluntario, Consejo Nacional para la Implementación de la Agenda 2030 y el Desarrollo Sostenible, 2017, (accessed May 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)
UN CEDAW, Concluding observations on the seventh periodic report of Chile, 2018, p.15, (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)