Photo credit: Adam Patterson | Panos | DFID
Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 15
UNICEF 2016 % Married by 18
* Child marriage prevalence is the percentage of women 20-24 years old who were married or in union before they were 18 years old.
* According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2016.
There is little information about the scale of child marriage in Lebanon. Official data suggests that 6% of girls are married by age 18. 
In February 2013, when around 200,000 Syrian refugees had arrived in Lebanon, a Child Protection Rapid Assessment revealed that child marriage was increasingly becoming an issue.
Destitute Syrian families decide to marry their daughters off in the hope that a man will be able to provide financial and physical support and protection for their daughters. 
Legal age of marriage
There is no minimum age of marriage in Lebanon. Instead, religious communities have personal status laws governing marriage, divorce and inheritance. Some of these personal status laws allow girls younger than 15 to marry. 
Initiatives to end child marriage
On 28 March 2017, a draft law which would set the minimum age for marriage at 18 was introduced by a member of parliament. The bill was prepared by the Lebanese Women’s Democratic Gathering. 
In August 2017, Lebanese lawmakers voted to abolish Article 522 of the Penal Code, which allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims. 
Lebanon also works to address child marriage in Syrian refugee camps.
 UNICEF, State of the World’s Children, 2016.
 CARE, ‘To protect her honour’: Child marriage in emergencies – the fatal confusion between protecting girls and sexual violence, 2015
 Human Rights Watch, Lebanon: Pass Bill to End Child Marriage, accessed on 12 April 2017.
 Thomson Reuters Foundation, Lebanon abolishes “marry your rapist” law, joining other Arab states, accessed 16 August 2017.