Visit our new interactive Atlas!

Panama

Child marriage rates
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 15
7%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
26%

* 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
7%
UNICEF 2017 % Married by 18
26%

* 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?

26% of girls in Panama are married before the age of 18 and 7% are married before their 15th birthday.

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 Panama.

What has this country committed to?

Panama has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The government reiterated commitment to this target during its Voluntary National Review at the 2017 High Level Political Forum.

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

Panama co-sponsored the 2013 and 2014 UN General Assembly resolutions on child, early and forced marriage, and the 2014 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage.

Panama ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

During its 2015 Universal Periodic Review, Panama did not support two recommendations to increase the minimum age of marriage and criminal responsibility in line with international standards.

However, during its 2018 review, the UN Child Rights Committee welcomed Panama’s establishment of a minimum age of marriage at 18, and the implementation of targeted initiatives to promote birth registration.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

There has reportedly been a lack of agreement between Palestinian line ministries and UN agencies on which priority actions should be taken to address child marriage at the national level.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

An amendment in 2015 to Articles 33 and 35 of the Family Code 1994 raised the legal age of marriage to 18 years for girls and boys with no exceptions. Previously the legal age of marriage for both was 14 years.

Source

Gobierno de la República de Panamá,
ERRADICAR LA POBREZA Y PROMOVER LA PROSPERIDAD EN UN MUNDO CAMBIANTE
INFORME VOLUNTARIO
PANAMÁ, 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/16594Panama.pdf (accessed May 2018)

Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censo, Encuesta de Indicadores Múltiples por
Conglomerados 2013, Resultados principals,
2014, https://mics-surveys-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/MICS5/Latin%20America%20and%20Caribbean/Panama/2013/Key%20findings/Panama%202013%20MICS%20KFR_Spanish.pdf (accessed May 2018)

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Panama, 2018, p.1, http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CRC/C/PAN/CO/5-6&Lang=En (accessed May 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Panama, 2015, p.20, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/PAindex.aspx (accessed May 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (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)