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Moldova

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
12%

* References

* 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)

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
n/a
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
12%

* References

* 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)

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

12% of girls in Moldova are married before the age of 18.

Child marriage is most prevalent in the north of the country.

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. In Moldova, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Level of education: Girls with higher education are much less likely to marry than those with secondary education or lower.
  • Poverty: 25% of girls in Moldova’s poorest households marry before the age of 18, compared to only 8% in the richest households.
  • Traditional customs: Child marriage is most common among Moldova’s Roma communities, where it is reportedly “welcome” to marry off girls between the ages of 12 and 14. This either takes the form of a forced marriage, whereby a girl is married off to an adult man against her will, or an arranged marriage, whereby families or “match makers” arrange for two children to be married in the future. In both cases, this takes place without official documentation or registration. After marriage, it is common for girls to drop out of school and take on household duties.

What has this country committed to?

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

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

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

Moldova 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 1994, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2016 Universal Periodic Review, Moldova agreed to examine a recommendation to implement legislation to abolish and effectively combat early and child marriage. Concerns were raised regarding the impact that poor school attendance and financial capability has on child marriage among Roma children.

In 2017 the UN Child Rights Committee recommended that the government remove exceptions in legislation that allow marriage under the age of 18, and adopt a national strategy on child marriage with a particular focus on raising awareness among Roma communities.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the Moldavian Marriage Code the minimum legal age of marriage 18 years. However individuals may marry at 16 years with consent of the local tutelary/guardianship authority and with parental consent.

Source

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Joint statement on child, early and forced marriage, HRC 27, Agenda Item 3, [website], 2014, (accessed April 2018)

Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova and UNICEF, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2012, 2012, (accessed March 2018)

The Working Group for Women’s Rights in Moldova, Alternative/shadow Report on Women’s Rights in Moldova, 2013, (accessed March 2018)

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined fourth and fifth periodic report of the Republic of Moldova, 2017, p.4, p.7, (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Republic of Moldova, 2016, p.26, (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Summary prepared by the OHCHR in accordance with paragraph 15 (c) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21, Republic of Moldova, 2016, (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)