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 Libya.
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 Libya.
In 2015 there were reports of young girls in Derna being married off to ISIS soldiers in order to protect them from a worse fate.
What has this country committed to?
Libya has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2014, Libya signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.
Libya acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1993, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to 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 2000 Libya ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.
In 2004 Libya ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, including Article 6 which sets the minimum age for marriage as 18.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Law No. (10) of 1984 on the provisions concerning marriage, divorce and their effects, the minimum legal age of marriage in Libya is 20 years. However a girl or boy under the age of 20 may get married with court authorisation if they have the consent of their parent or guardian.
African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [website], 2018, (accessed February 2018)
African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [website], 2018, (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)
The Independent, Isis in Libya: Families forced to marry girls as young as 12 to fighters for protection as clinics see growing number of miscarriages and STDs, [website], 2015, (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)