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Colombia

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
5%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
23%

* 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: Jon Spall | IPPF

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
5%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
23%

* 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?

23% of girls in Colombia are married before the age of 18 and 5% are married before their 15th birthday.

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 Colombia.

What has this country committed to?

Colombia has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The government did not provide an update on progress towards this target during its Voluntary National Reviews at the 2017 or 2018 High Level Political Forums, the mechanism through which countries report their progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2014, Colombia signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.

Colombia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1982, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During Colombia’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review, concerns about exceptions to the legal minimum age for marriage, enabling 14 year old girls to marry with parental consent, were reiterated by the UN Child Rights Committee.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Civil Code 1974, the legal minimum age is 18 years. However girls older than 12 years can enter into marriage when approval of their legal representatives is provided.

Source

Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social y Profamilia, Colombia Encuesta Nacional de Demográfia y Salud 2015, 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 General Assembly, Compilation on Colombia Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2018, p.6, (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, Colombia, 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)