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 Mauritius.
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 Mauritius.
What has this country committed to?
Mauritius has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2014, Mauritius signed a joint statement at the Human Rights Council calling for a resolution on child marriage.
Mauritius acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, 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 1984, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
In 1992 Mauritius ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, including Article 21 regarding the prohibition of child marriage.
In 2005 Mauritius signed, but has not yet 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.
Mauritius is one of 20 countries which has committed to ending child marriage by the end of 2020 under the Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa.
During Mauritius’ 2015 review, the UN Child Rights Committee expressed concern that child marriages are still extensively granted in contravention of the law, and that the Child Protection Act defines a child as any unmarried person under the age of 18. It urged the government to strictly enforce the minimum age of marriage and carry out comprehensive awareness-raising programmes on the negative impact of child marriage among parents, teachers and community leaders.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Civil Code 1990 the minimum legal age of marriage is 18 years. However individuals can marry at 16 years with parental consent.
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)
Ministerial Commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern African [website], 2014, (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 combined third to fifth periodic reports of Mauritius, 2015, p.5, (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)