What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?
Child marriage occurs in both rural and urban parts of Saint Lucia.
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 Saint Lucia, but available studies show that it is driven by:
- Level of education: 23% of women who had no education or only primary level education were married before the age of 18, compared to 15% who had completed secondary school.
- Poverty: A quarter of girls in Saint Lucia’s poorest households were married before the age of 18, compared to only 13% in the richest households.
What has this country committed to?
Saint Lucia has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Saint Lucia ratified 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 1982, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.
What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?
Under the Civil Code 1956 girls and boys can be married at 18 years. They can also marry at 16 years or over with parental consent and permission of the Attorney-General.
Government of Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2012, 2014, (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)