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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 Greece.

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 Greece, but available studies show that it is largely driven by:

• Migration: A 2017 UNICEF study revealed that one in five girls interviewed from countries in West Africa and the Horn of Africa who escaped to Greece left because they had experienced or feared forced marriage. A 2014 study shows that around 2% of Roma girls aged 10-15 are traditionally married or cohabiting with a partner across 11 European Union member states, including Greece. 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?

Greece has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. However the government did not report on progress made against target 5.3 during its 2018 Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum, the mechanism through which countries report their progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

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

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

Greece ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993, 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.

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?

The minimum legal age of marriage under the Greek Civil Code is 18 years. However individuals younger than 18 years may enter into a marriage with consent from a competent court, provided the marriage is “necessary due to serious grounds”.


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)

UNICEF, Children on the Move in Italy and Greece, 2017, (accessed March 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)