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France

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 France.

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 limited information on child marriage in France.

A 2014 study shows that around 2% of Roma girls aged 10-15 are traditionally married or cohabiting with a partner across 11 EU member states, including France. 16% of Roma men and girls aged 16-17 are legally or traditionally married or cohabiting across the 11 states.

What has this country committed to?

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

France co-sponsored the 2017 Human Rights Council resolution recognising the need to address child, early and forced marriage in humanitarian contexts.

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

France 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 1983, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

In 2016 the UN Child Rights Committee expressed concern about the “precarious” situation of children in refugee camps in Calais and Grande-Synthe, and urged France to ensure the protection and human rights of all children in line with its international commitments.

At the Girl Summit in July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.

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

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Civil Code 2013 the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years. However, marriage before the age of 18 is possible with consent of parents or the public prosecutor for serious reasons.

Source

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, Addressing forced marriage in the EU: legal provisions and promising practices, 2014, (accessed March 2018)

Girl Summit 2014, The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage, [website], 2015, (accessed February 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 Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of France, 2016, p.18, (accessed April 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)